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THE LIBRARY OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 




THE COLLECTION OF 

NORTH CAROLINIANA 

FROM THE LIBRARY OF 

Mary Ferrand Henderson 




FOR USE ONLY IN 
THE NORTH CAROLINA COLLECTION 



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u 







DESTRUCTION 1 " '." 



Alrt> 



EEOONSTEUCTION : 



PERSONAL EXPERIENCES OF THE LATE WAR. 



BY 

RICHAED TATLOE, 

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL IN THE CONFEDERATE ARMY. 



NEW YORK: 
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY, 

549 AND 551 BKOADWAY. 

1879. 



COPYRIGHT BY 
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY, 

1879. 



PREFACE. 



These reminiscences of Secession, "War, and Eeconstruction 
it has seemed to me a duty to record. An actor therein, acci- 
dent of fortune afforded me exceptional advantages for an 
interior view. 

The opinions expressed are sincerely entertained, hut of 
their correctness such readers as I may find must judge. I 
have in most cases been a witness to the facts alleged, or have 
obtained them from the best sources. Where statements are 
made upon less authority, I have carefully endeavored to indi- 
cate it by the language employed. 

R. TAYLOR. 

December j 1877. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 



http://archive.org/details/destructionrecontayl 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

PREFACE 3 



CHAPTER I. 

Secession". ........ 9 

Causes of the Civil War — The Charleston Convention — Convention of Lou- 
isiana — Temper of the People. 

CHAPTER II. 

FntST Scenes of the "War. . . . . . .15 

Blindness of the Confederate Government — General Bragg occupies Pensa- 
cola — Battle of Manassas — Its Effects on the North and the South — 
" Initiative " and " Defensive " in War. 

CHAPTER III. 
After Manassas. . . . . . . .22 

General W. H. T. Walker— The Louisiana Brigade— The "Tigers"— 
Major Wheat — General Joseph E. Johnston and Jefferson Davis — 
Alexander H. Stephens. 

CHAPTER IY. 

OPENINa OF THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN. . . . .31 

McClellan as an Organizer — The James Eiver Route to Richmond — Army 
of Northern Virginia moved to Orange Court House — Straggling — Gen- 
eral Ewell — Bugeaud's " Maxims " — Uselessness of Tents — Counsels 
to Young Officers. 



6 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER V. 

FAGS 

The Valley Campaign. . . . . . .42 

The Army moved to Gordonsville — Joseph E. Johnston as a Commander — 
Valley of Virginia — Stonewall Jackson — Belle Boyd — Federals routed 
at Front Royal — Cuirassiers strapped to their Horses — Battle of Win- 
chester — A " Walk Over " at Strasburg — General Ashby — Battle of 
Port Republic. 

CHAPTER VI. 

" The Seven Days abound Richmond." . . . .83 

Clever Strategy — The Valley Army summoned to the Defense of Rich- 
mond — Battles of Cold Harbor, Frazier's Farm, Malvern Hill — Igno- 
rance of the Topography — McClellan as a Commander — General R. E. 
Lee — His magnificent Strategy — His Mistakes. 

CHAPTER Vn. 

The District of Louisiana. . . . . . .99 

General Bragg — Invasion of Kentucky — Western Louisiana — Its Topog- 
raphy and River Systems — The Attakapas, Home of the Acadians — 
The Creole Population. 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Operations in Louisiana and on the Mississippi. . . .111 

Federal Post at Bayou Des Allemands Surprised — Marauding by the Fed- 
erals — Salt Mines at Petit Anse — General Pemberton — Major Brent 
Chief of Artillery — Federal Operations on the Lafourche — Gunboat 
Cotton — General Weitzel Advances up the Teche — Capture of Federal 
Gunboats — General Kirby Smith. 



CHAPTER IX. 

Attacked by the Federals — Attempt to Relieve Vicksbubg — 

Capture of Beewiok's Bay. . . . . .129 

Federal Advance against Bisland — Retreat of the Confederates — Banks's 
Dispatches — Relief of Vicksburg impracticable — Capture of Federal 
Post at Berwick's Bay — Attack on Fort Butler — Fall of Vicksburg 
and of Port Hudson. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER X. 

PAGE 

Movement to the Red Rivee — Campaign against Banks. . . 148 

The Confederate Losses at Vicksburg and Port Hudson — Federals beaten 
at Bayou Bourbeau — Trans-Mississippi Department, its Bureaux and 
Staff— A Federal Fleet and Army ascend Red River — Battle of Pleas- 
ant Hill — Success of the Confederates — Perilous Situation of Banks's 
Army and the Fleet. 



CHAPTER XL 

Escape of Banks and Poetee. . . . •* .176 

The Fleet descends Red River to Grand Ecore— Banks concentrates his 
Army there — Taylor's Force weakened by General Kirby Smith — Con- 
federates harass Rear of Federal Column — The Federals cross the 
River atMonette's Ferry and reach Alexandria — Retreat of the Fleet 
harassed — It passes over the Falls at Alexandria. 

CHAPTER XII. 

East op the Mississippi. . . . . . .196 

The Mississippi controlled by the Federals — Taylor assigned to the Com- 
mand of Alabama, Mississippi, etc. — Forrest's Operations — General 
Sherman in Georgia — Desperate Situation of Hood — Remnant of his 
Army sent to North Carolina. 



CHAPTER Xm. 
Closing Opeeations of the "War — Surrender. . . . 221 

Fall of Mobile — Last Engagement of the "War — Johnston-Sherman Con- 
vention — Taylor surrenders to General Canby — Last Hours of the 
" Trans-Mississippi Department." 



CHAPTER XIV. 

Criticisms and Reflections. ...... 230 

Gettysburg — Shiloh — Albert Sidney Johnston — Lack of Statesmanship in 
the Confederacy — " King Cotton " — Carpet-Baggers. 



8 CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER XV. 

PAGE 

Reconstruction under Johnson. ..... 239 

Interceding for Prisoners — Debauchery and Corruption in Washington — 
General Grant — Andrew Johnson — Stevens, Winter Davis, Sumner — 
Setting up and pulling down State Governments — The "Ku-Klux" — 
Philadelphia Convention. 



CHAPTER XVI. 
Reconstruction under Grant. ..... 256 

Demoralization at the North — a Corrupt Vice-President — a Hypocritical 
Banker — a Great Preacher profiting by his own Evil Reputation — 
Knaves made Plenipotentiaries — A Spurious Legislature installed in 
the Louisiana State House — General Sheridan in New Orleans — An 
American Alberoni — Presidential Election of 1876 — Congress over- 
awed by a Display of Military Force. 

CHAPTER XVII. 

Conclusion. ........ 268 

The Financial Crisis — Breaches of Trust — Labor Troubles— Destitution — 
Negro Suffrage fatal to the South. 



DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 



CHAPTEE I. 



SECESSION. 



The history of the United States, as yet unwritten, will show 
the causes pi the " Civil War " to have been in existence dur- 
ing the Colonial era, and to have cropped out into full view in 
the debates of the several State Assemblies on the adoption of 
the Federal Constitution, in which instrument Luther Martin, 
Patrick Henry, and others, insisted that they were implanted. 
African slavery at the time was universal, and its extinction in 
the North, as well as its extension in the South, was due to eco- 
nomic reasons alone. 

The first serious difficulty of the Federal Government arose 
from the attempt to lay an excise on distilled spirits. The second 
arose from the hostility of New England traders to the policy of 
the Government in the war of 1812, by which their special in- 
terests were menaced ; and there is now evidence to prove that, 
but for the unexpected peace, an attempt to disrupt the Union 
would then have been made. 

The " Missouri Compromise " of 1820 was in reality a truce 
between antagonistic revenue systems, each seeking to gain the 
balance of power. For many years subsequently, slaves — as 
domestic servants — were taken to the Territories without excit- 
ing remark, and the " Nullification " movement in South Caro- 
lina was entirely directed against the tariff. 



10 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

Anti-slavery was agitated from an early period, but failed to 
attract public attention for many years. At length, by unwea- 
ried industry, by ingeniously attaching itself to exciting ques- 
tions of the day, with which it had no natural connection, it 
succeeded in making a lodgment in the public mind, which, like 
a subject exhausted by long effort, is exposed to the attack of 
some malignant fever, that in a normal condition of vigor 
would have been resisted. The common belief that slavery 
was the cause of civil war is incorrect, and Abolitionists are not 
justified in claiming the glory and spoils of the conflict and in 
pluming themselves as " choosers of the slain." 

The vast immigration that poured into the country between 
the years 1840 and 1860 had a very important influence in di- 
recting the events of the latter year. The numbers were too 
great to be absorbed and assimilated by the native population. 
States in the West were controlled by German and Scandina- 
vian voters, while the Irish took possession of the seaboard 
towns. Although the balance of party strength was not much 
affected by these naturalized voters, the modes of political 
thought were seriously disturbed, and a tendency was mani- 
fested to transfer exciting topics from the domain of argument 
to that of violence. 

The aged and feeble President, Mr. Buchanan, unfitted for 
troublous times, was driven to and fro by ambitious leaders of 
his own party, as was the last weak Hapsburg who reigned in 
Spain by the rival factions of France and Austria. 

Under these conditions the National Democratic Convention 
met at Charleston, South Carolina, in the spring of 1860, to 
declare the principles on which the ensuing presidential cam- 
paign was to be conducted, and select candidates for the offices 
of President and Yice-President. Appointed a delegate by the 
Democracy of my State, Louisiana, in company with others I 
reached Charleston two days in advance of the time. We were 
at once met by an invitation to join in council delegates from 
the Gulf States, to agree upon some common ground of action 
in the Convention, but declined for the reason that we were 
accredited to the National Convention, and had no authority 



SECESSION". 11 

to participate in other deliberations. This invitation and the 
terms in which it was conveyed argned badly for the harmony 
of the Convention itself, and for the preservation of the unity 
of the Democracy, then the only organization supported in all 
quarters of the country. 

It may be interesting to recall the impression created at the 
time by the tone and temper of different delegations. New 
England adhered to the old tenets of the Jefferson school. 
Two leaders from Massachusetts, Messrs. Caleb Cushing and 
Benjamin F. Butler, of whom the former was chosen President 
of the Convention, warmly supported the candidacy of Mr. Jef- 
ferson Davis. New York, under the direction of Mr. Dean 
Eichmond, gave its influence to Mr. Douglas. Of a combative 
temperament, Mr. Bichmond was impressed with a belief that 
" secession " was but a bugbear to frighten the northern wing 
of the party. Thus he failed to appreciate the gravity of the 
situation, and impaired the value of unusual common sense and 
unselfish patriotism, qualities he possessed to an eminent degree. 
The anxieties of Pennsylvania as to candidates were accompa- 
nied by a philosophic indifference as to principles. The North- 
west was ardent for Douglas, who divided with Guthrie Mis- 
souri, Kentucky, and Tennessee. 

Maryland, Yirginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Louisi- 
ana held moderate opinions, and were ready to adopt any hon- 
orable means to preserve the unity of the party and country. 
The conduct of the South Carolina delegates was admirable. 
Bepresenting the most advanced constituency in the Conven- 
tion, they were singularly reticent, and abstained from adding 
fuel to the flames. They limited their role to that of dignified, 
courteous hosts, and played it as Carolina gentlemen are wont 
to do. From Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas, and 
Texas came the fiery spirits, led by Mr. William L. Yancey of 
Alabama, an able rhetorician. This gentleman had persuaded 
his State Convention to pass a resolution, directing its delegates 
to withdraw from Charleston if the Democracy there assem- 
bled refused to adopt the extreme Southern view as to the 
rights of citizens in the territories. In this he was opposed by 



12 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

ex-Governor Winston, a man of conservative tendencies, and 
long the rival of Mr. Yancey in State politics. Both gentlemen 
were sent to Charleston, but the majority of their co-delegates 
sustained Mr. Yancey. 

Several days after its organization the National Convention 
reached a point which made the withdrawal of Alabama immi- 
nent. Filled with anxions forebodings, I sought after nightfall 
the lodgings of Messrs. Slidell, Bayard, and Bright, United 
States senators, who had come to Charleston, not as delegates, 
but under the impulse of hostility to the principles and candi- 
dacy of Mr. Douglas. There, after pointing out the certain 
consequences of Alabama's impending action, I made an earnest 
appeal for peace and harmony^ and with success. Mr. Yancey 
was sent for, came into our views after some discussion, and un- 
dertook to call his people together at that late hour, and secure 
their consent to disregard instructions. We waited until near 
dawn for Yancey's return, but his efforts failed of success. 
Governor Winston, originally opposed to instructions as unwise 
and dangerous, now insisted that they should be obeyed to the 
letter, and carried a majority of the Alabama delegates with 
him. Thus the last hope of preserving the unity of the Na- 
tional Democracy was destroyed, and by one who was its ear- 
nest advocate. 

The withdrawal of Alabama, followed by other Southern 
States, the adjournment of a part of the Convention to Balti- 
more and of another part to Richmond, and the election of 
Lincoln by votes of Northern States, require no further men- 
tion. 

In January, 1861, the General Assembly of Louisiana met. 
A member of the upper branch, and chairman of its Committee 
on Federal Relations, I reported, and assisted in passing, an act 
to call a Convention of the people of the State to consider of 
matters beyond the competency of the Assembly. The Con- 
vention met in March, and was presided over by ex-Governor 
and ex -United States Senator Alexander Mouton, a man of 
high character. I represented my own parish, St. Charles, and 
was appointed chairman of the Military and Defense Commit- 



SECESSION. 13 

tee, on behalf of which, two ordinances were reported and 
passed: one, to raise two regiments; the other, to authorize 
the Governor to expend a million of dollars in the purchase of 
arms and munitions. The officers of the two regiments were 
to be appointed by the Governor, and the men to be enlisted for 
five years, unless sooner discharged. More would have been 
desirable in the way of raising troops, but the temper of men's 
minds did not then justify the effort. The Governor declined 
to use his authority to purchase arms, assured as he was on all 
sides that there was no danger of war, and that the United 
States arsenal at Baton Eouge, completely in our power, would 
furnish more than we could need. It was vainly urged in reply 
that the stores of the arsenal were almost valueless, the arms 
being altered flint-lock muskets, and the accouterments out of 
date. The current was too strong to stem. 

The Convention, by an immense majority of votes, adopted 
an ordinance declaring that Louisiana ceased to be a State with- 
in the Union. Indeed, similar action having already been taken 
by her neighbors, Louisiana of necessity followed. At the time 
and since, I marveled at the joyous and careless temper in 
which men, much my superiors in sagacity and experience, con- 
summated these acts. There appeared the same general gaite 
de cosur that M. Ollivier claimed for the Imperial Ministry when 
war was declared against Prussia. The attachment of northern 
and western people to the Union ; their superiority in numbers, 
in wealth, and especially in mechanical resources ; the command 
of the sea ; the lust of rule and territory always felt by democ- 
racies, and nowhere to a greater degree than in the South — all 
these facts were laughed to scorn, or their mention was ascribed 
to timidity and treachery. 

As soon as the Convention adjourned, finding myself out of 
harmony with prevailing opinion as to the certainty of war and 
necessity for preparation, I retired to my estate, determined to 
accept such responsibility only as came to me unsought. 

The inauguration of President Lincoln; the confederation 
of South Carolina, Georgia, and the five Gulf States ; the atti- 
tude of the border slave States, hoping to mediate ; the assem- 



14 DESTRUCTION AND KECONSTKUCTION. 

bling of Confederate forces at Pensacola, Charleston, and other 
points; the seizure of United States forts and arsenals; the 
attack on "Sumter"; war — these followed with "bewildering 
rapidity, and the human agencies concerned seemed as uncon- 
scious as scene-shifters in some awful tragedy. 



CHAPTEK II. 



FERST SCENES OF THE WAK. 



I was drawn from my retreat by an invitation from General 
Bragg, a particular friend, to visit Pensacola, where he com- 
manded the southern forces, composed of volunteers from the 
adjacent States. Full of enthusiasm for their cause, and of the 
best material, officers and men were, with few exceptions, with- 
out instruction, and the number of educated officers was, as in 
all the southern armies, too limited to satisfy the imperious de- 
mands of the staff, much less those of the drill-master. Besides, 
the vicious system of election of officers struck at the very 
root of that stern discipline without which raw men cannot be 
converted into soldiers. 

The Confederate Government, then seated at Montgomery, 
weakly receded from its determination to accept no volunteers 
for short terms of service, and took regiments for twelve months. 
The same blindness smote the question of finance. Instead of 
laying taxes, which the general enthusiasm would have cheer- 
fully endured, the Confederate authorities pledged their credit, 
and that too for an amount which might have implied a pact 
with Mr. Seward that, should war unhappily break out, its du- 
ration was to be strictly limited to sixty days. The effect of 
these errors was felt throughout the struggle. 

General Bragg occupied Pensacola, the United States navy 
yard, and Fort Barrancas on the mainland ; while Fort Pickens, 
on Santa Rosa island, was held by Federal troops, with several 
war vessels anchored outside the harbor. There was an under- 
standing that no hostile movement would be made by either 
side without notice. Consequently, Bragg worked at his bat- 



16 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

teries bearing on Pickens, while Major Brown, the Federal com- 
mander, strengthened with sand bags and earth the weak land- 
ward curtain of his fort; and time was pleasantly passed by 
both parties in watching each other's occupation. 

Some months before this period, when Florida enforced her 
assumed right to control all points within her limits, a small 
company of United States artillery, under Lieutenant Slemmer, 
was stationed at Barrancas, where it was helpless. After much 
manoeuvring, the State forces of Florida induced Slemmer to 
retire from Barrancas to Pickens, then garrisoned by one ord- 
nance sergeant, and at the mercy of a corporal's guard in a row- 
boat. Fort Sumter, in Charleston harbor, was in a similar con- 
dition before Anderson retired to it with his company. The 
early seizure of these two fortresses would have spared the 
Confederates many serious embarrassments ; but such small de- 
tails were neglected at that time. 

My visit to Pensacola was brought to a close by information 
from the Governor of Louisiana of my appointment to the colo- 
nelcy of the 9th Louisiana infantry, a regiment just formed at 
camp on the railway some miles north of New Orleans, and 
under orders for Richmond. Accepting the appointment, I 
hastened to the camp, inspected the command, ordered the Lieu- 
tenant Colonel — Randolph, a well-instructed officer for the 
time — to move by rail to Richmond as rapidly as transportation 
was furnished, and went on to New Orleans, as well to procure 
equipment, in which the regiment was deficient, as to give 
some hours to private affairs. It was known that there was a 
scarcity of small-arm ammunition in Virginia, owing to the 
rapid concentration of troops ; and I was fortunate in obtain- 
ing from the Louisiana authorities a hundred thousand rounds, 
with which, together with some field equipment, I proceeded 
by express to Richmond, where I found my command, about a 
thousand strong, just arrived and preparing to go into camp. 
The town was filled with rumor of battle away north at Manas?- 
sas, where Beauregard commanded the Confederate forces. A 
multitude of wild reports, all equally inflamed, reached my ears 
while looking after the transportation of my ammunition, of 



FIRST SCENES OF THE WAR. 17 

which I did not wish to lose sight. Reaching camp, I paraded 
the regiment, and stated the necessity for prompt action, and 
my purpose to make application to be sent to the front imme- 
diately. Officers and men were delighted with the prospect of 
active service, and largely supplied want of experience by zeal. 
Ammunition was served out, three days' rations were ordered 
for haversacks, and all camp equipage not absolutely essential 
was stored. 

These details attended to, at 5 P. M. I visited the war office, 
presided over by General Pope Walker of Alabama. When the 
object of my visit was stated, the Secretary expressed much 
pleasure, as he was anxious to send troops forward, but had 
few in readiness to move, owing to the lack of ammunition, etc. 
As I had been in Richmond but a few hours, my desire to 
move and adequate state of preparation gained me some " red- 
letter " marks at the war office. The Secretary thought that a 
train would be in readiness at 9 o'clock that night. Accord- 
ingly, the regiment was marched to the station, where we re- 
mained several weary hours. At length, long after midnight, 
our train made its appearance. As the usual time to Manassas 
was some six hours, we confidently expected to arrive in the 
early forenoon; but this expectation our engine brought to 
grief. It proved a machine of the most wheezy and helpless 
character, creeping snail-like on levels, and requiring the men 
to leave the carriages to help it up grades. As the morning 
wore on, the sound of guns, reechoed from the Blue Ridge 
mountains on our left, became loud and constant. At every 
halt of the wretched engine the noise of battle grew more and 
more intense, as did our impatience. I hope the attention of 
the recording angel was engrossed that day in other directions- 
Later we met men, single or in squads, some with arms and" 
some without, moving south, in which quarter they all appeared 
to have pressing engagements. 

At dusk we gained Manassas Junction, near the field' 

where, on that day, the battle of first " Manassas " had been 

fought and won. Bivouacking the men by the roadside, I 

sought through the darkness the headquarters of General Beau- 

2 



18 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

regard, to whom I was instructed to report. With much diffi- 
culty and delay the place was found, and a staff officer told me 
that orders would be sent the following morning. By these I 
was directed to select a suitable camp, thus indicating that no 
immediate movement was contemplated. 

The confusion that reigned about our camps for the next 
few days was extreme. Regiments seemed to have lost their 
colonels, colonels their regiments. Men of all arms and all 
commands were mixed in the wildest way. A constant fusil- 
lade of small arms and singing of bullets were kept up, indica- 
tive of a superfluity of disorder, if not of ammunition. One 
of my men was severely wounded in camp by a " stray," and 
derived no consolation from my suggestion that it was a deli- 
cate attention of our comrades to mitigate the disappointment 
of missing the battle. The elation of our people at their suc- 
cess was natural. They had achieved all, and more than all, 
that could have been expected of raw troops ; and some com- 
mands had emulated veterans by their steadiness under fire. 
Settled to the routine of camp duty, I found many opportuni- 
ties to go over the adjacent battle field with those who had 
shared the action, then fresh in their memories. Once I had 
the f>rivilege of so doing in company with Generals Johnston 
and Beauregard ; and I will now give my opinion of this, as I 
purpose doing of such subsequent actions, and commanders 
therein, as came within the range of my personal experience 
during the war. 

Although since the days of Nimrod war has been the con- 
stant occupation of men, the fingers of one hand suffice to 
number the great commanders. The " unlearned " hardly think 
of usurping Tyndall's place in the lecture room, or of taking 
his cuneiform bricks from Bawlinson ; yet the world has been 
much more prolific of learned scientists and philologers than of 
able generals. Notwithstanding, the average American (and, 
judging from the dictatorship of Maitre Gambetta, the French- 
man) would not have hesitated to supersede Napoleon at Aus- 
terlitz or Nelson at Trafalgar. True, Cleon captured the Spar- 
tan garrison, and Narses gained victories, and Bunyan wrote 



FIRST SCENES OF THE WAR. 19 

the " Pilgrim's Progress ; " but pestilent demagogues and muti- 
lated guardians of Eastern zenanas have not always been suc- 
cessful in war, nor the great and useful profession of tinkers 
written allegory. As men without knowledge have at all times 
usurped the right to criticise campaigns and commanders, they 
will doubtless continue to do so despite the protests of profes- 
sional soldiers, who discharge this duty in a reverent spirit, 
knowing that the greatest is he who commits the fewest blunders. 

General McDowell, the Federal commander at Manassas, 
and a trained soldier of unusual acquirement, was so hounded 
and worried by ignorant, impatient politicians and newspapers 
as to be scarcely responsible for his acts. This may be said of 
all the commanders in the beginning of the war, and notably of 
Albert Sidney Johnston, whose early fall on the field of Shi- 
loh was irreparable, and mayhap determined the fate of the 
South. McDowell's plan of battle was excellent, and its exe- 
cution by his mob no worse than might have been confidently 
expected. The late Governor Andrew of Massachusetts ob- 
served that his men thought they were going to a town meet- 
ing, and this is exhaustive criticism. "With soldiers at his dis- 
posal, McDowell would have succeeded in turning and over- 
whelming Beauregard's left, driving him from his rail commu- 
nications with Richmond, and preventing the junction of 
Johnston from the valley. It appears that Beauregard was to 
some extent surprised by the attack, contemplating movements 
by his own centre and right. His exposed and weak left stub- 
bornly resisted the shock of attacking masses, while he, with 
coolness and personal daring most inspiriting to his men, brought 
up assistance from centre and right ; and the ground was held 
until Johnston, who had skillfully eluded Patterson, arrived 
and began feeding our line, when the affair was soon decided. 

There can be little question that with a strong brigade of 
soldiers Johnston could have gone to "Washington and Balti- 
more. "Whether, with his means, he should have advanced, has 
been too much and angrily discussed already. ^Napoleon held 
that, no matter how great the confusion and exhaustion of a 
victorious army might be, a defeated one must be a hundred- 



20 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

fold worse, and action should be based on this. Assuredly, if 
there be justification in disregarding an axiom of Napoleon, the 
wild confusion of the Confederates after Manassas afforded it. 

The first skirmishes and actions of the war proved that the 
Southron, untrained, was a better fighter than the Northerner 
— not because of more courage, but of the social and economic 
conditions by which he was surrounded. Devoted to agricul- 
ture in a sparsely populated country, the Southron was self-re- 
liant, a practiced horseman, and skilled in the use of arms. The 
dense population of the North, the habit of association for com- 
mercial and manufacturing purposes, weakened individuality of 
character, and horsemanship and the use of arms were excep- 
tional acconrplishments. The rapid development of railways 
and manufactures in the West had assimilated the people of 
that region to their eastern neighbors, and the old race of fron- 
tier riflemen had wandered to the far interior of the continent. 
Instruction and discipline soon equalized differences, and battles 
were decided by generalship and numbers ; and this was the 
experience of our kinsmen in their great civil war. The coun- 
try squires who followed the banners of Newcastle and Rupert 
at first swept the eastern-counties yeomanry and the London 
train-bands from the field ; but fiery and impetuous valor was 
at last overmatched by the disciplined purpose and stubborn 
constancy of Cromwell's Ironsides. 

The value of the " initiative " in war cannot be overstated. 
It surpasses in power mere accession of numbers, as it requires 
neither transport nor commissariat. Holding it, a commander 
lays his plans deliberately, and executes them at his own ap- 
pointed time and in his own way. The " defensive " is weak, 
lowering the morale of the army reduced to it, enforcing con- 
stant watchfulness lest threatened attacks become real, and keep- 
ing commander and troops in a state of anxious tension. These 
truisms would not deserve mention did not the public mind 
ignore the fact that their application is limited to trained sol- 
diers, and often become impatient for the employment of proved 
ability to sustain sieges and hold lines in offensive movements. 
A collection of untrained men is neither more nor less than a 



FIRST SCENES OF THE WAR. 21 

mob, in which, individual courage goes for nothing. In move- 
ment each person finds his liberty of action merged in a crowd, 
ignorant and incapable of direction. Every obstacle creates 
confusion, speedily converted into panic by opposition. The 
heroic defenders of Saragossa could not for a moment have 
faced a battalion of French infantry in the open field. Osman's 
solitary attempt to operate outside of Plevna met with no suc- 
cess; and the recent defeat of Moukhtar may be ascribed to 
incaution in taking position too far from his line of defense, 
where, when attacked, manoeuvres of which his people were in- 
capable became necessary. 



CHAPTER III, 



AFTEK MANASSAS. 



After the action at Manassas, the summer and winter of 
1861 wore away without movements of special note in our quar- 
ter, excepting the defeat of the Federals at Ball's Bluff, on the 
Potomac, by a detached brigade of Confederates, commanded 
by General Evans of South Carolina, a West-Pointer enjoying 
the sobriquet of Shanks from the thinness of his legs. 

In the organization of our army, my regiment was brigaded 
with the 6th, 7th, and 8th regiments of the Louisiana infantry, 
and placed under General William H. T. Walker of Georgia. 
Graduated from West Point in the summer of 1837, this officer 
joined the 6th United States infantry operating against the 
Seminoles in Florida. On Christmas day following was fought 
the battle of Okeechobee, the severest fight of that Indian war. 
The savages were posted on a thickly jungled island in the lake, 
through the waters of which, breast-high, the troops advanced 
several hundred yards to the attack. The loss on our side was 
heavy, but the Indians were so completely routed as to break 
their spirit. Colonel Zachary Taylor commanded, and there 
won his yellow sash and grade. Walker was desperately 
wounded, and the medical people gave him up ; hut he laughed 
at their predictions and recovered. In the war with Mexico, as- 
saulting Molino del Bey, he received several wounds, all pro- 
nounced fatal, and science thought itself avenged. Again he 
got well, as he said, to spite the doctors. Always a martyr to 
asthma, he rarely enjoyed sleep but in a sitting posture ; yet he 
was as cheerful and full of restless activity as the celebrated 
Earl of Peterborough. Peace with Mexico established, Walker 



AFTER MANASSAS. 23 

became commandant of cadets at West Point. His ability as an 
instructor, and his lofty, martial bearing, deeply impressed his 
new brigade and prepared it for stern work. Subsequently 
"Walker died on the field near Atlanta, defending the soil of his 
native State — a death of all others he would have chosen. I 
have dwelt somewhat on his character, because it was one of the 
strangest I have met. ~No enterprise was too rash to awaken 
his ardor, if it necessitated daring courage and self-devotion. 
Truly, he might have come forth from the pages of old Froissart. 
It is with unaffected feeling that I recall his memory and hang 
before it my humble wreath of immortelles. 

In camp our army experienced much suffering and loss of 
strength. Drawn almost exclusively from rural districts, where 
families lived isolated, the men were scourged with mumps, 
whooping-cough, and measles, diseases readily overcome by child- 
hood in urban populations. Measles proved as virulent as small- 
pox or cholera. Sudden changes of temperature drove the erup- 
tion from the surface to the internal organs, and fevers, lung 
and typhoid, and dysenteries followed. My regiment was fear- 
fully smitten, and I passed days in hospital, nursing the sick 
and trying to comfort the last moments of many poor lads, dying 
so far from home and friends. Time and frequent changes of 
camp brought improvement, but my own health gave way. A 
persistent low fever sapped my strength and impaired the use 
of my limbs. General Johnston kindly ordered me off to the 
Fauquier springs, sulphur waters, some twenty miles to the 
south. There I was joined and carefully nursed by a devoted 
sister, and after some weeks slowly regained health. 

On the eve of returning to the army, I learned of my pro- 
motion to brigadier, to relieve General Walker, transferred to a 
brigade of Georgians. This promotion seriously embarrassed 
me. Of the four colonels whose regiments constituted the 
brigade, I was the junior in commission, and the other three had 
been present and " won their spurs " at the recent battle, so far 
the only important one of the war. Besides, my known friend- 
ship for President Davis, with whom I was connected by his 
first marriage with my elder sister, would justify the opinion 



24 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

that my promotion was due to favoritism. Arrived at head- 
quarters, I obtained leave to go to Richmond, where, after an 
affectionate reception, the President listened to the story of my 
feelings, the reasons on which they were based, and the request 
that the promotion should be revoked. He replied that he 
would take a day for reflection before deciding the matter. The 
following day I was told that the answer to my appeal would be 
forwarded to the army, to which I immediately returned. The 
President had employed the delay in writing a letter to the 
senior officers of the brigade, in which he began by stating that 
promotions to the grade of general officer were by law intrusted 
to him, and were made for considerations of public good, of 
which he alone was judge. He then, out of abundant kindness 
for me, went on to soothe the feelings of these officers with a 
tenderness and delicacy of touch worthy a woman's hand, and 
so effectually as to secure me their hearty support. (No wonder 
that all who enjoy the friendship of Jefferson Davis love him 
as Jonathan did David v ; 

Several weeks without notable incident were devoted to in- 
struction, especially in marching, the only military quality for 
which Southern troops had no aptitude. Owing to the good 
traditions left by my predecessor, Walker, and the zeal of offi- 
cers and men, the brigade made great progress. 

With the army at this time was a battalion of three com- 
panies from Louisiana, commanded by Major Wheat. These 
detached companies had been thrown together previous to the 
fight at Manassas, where Wheat was severely wounded. The 
strongest of the three, and giving character to all, was called the 
"Tigers." Recruited on the levee and in the alleys of New 
Orleans, the men might have come out of " Alsatia," where they 
would have been worthy subjects of that illustrious potentate, 
"Duke Hildebrod." The captain, who had succeeded to the 
immediate command of these worthies on the advancement of 
Wheat, enjoying the luxury of many aliases, called himself 
White, perhaps out of respect for the purity of the patriotic 
garb lately assumed. So villainous was the reputation of this 
battalion that every commander desired to be rid of it; and 



AFTER MANASSAS. 25 

General Johnston assigned it to me, despite my efforts to decline 
the honor of such society. He promised, however, to sustain 
me in any measures to enforce discipline, and but a few horns 
elapsed before the fulfillment of the promise was exacted. For 
some disorder after tattoo, several " Tigers " were arrested and 
placed in charge of the brigade guard. Their comrades at- 
tempted to force the guard and release them. The attempt 
failed, and two ringleaders were captured and put .in irons for 
the night. On the ensuing morning an order for a general 
court-martial was obtained from army headquarters, and the 
court met at 10 A. M. The prisoners were found guilty, and 
sentenced to be shot at sunset. I ordered the " tiring party " to 
be detailed from their own company ; but Wheat and his officers 
begged to be spared this hard duty, fearing that the " Tigers " 
would refuse to fire on their comrades. I insisted for the sake 
of the example, and pointed out the serious consequences of 
disobedience by their men. The brigade, under arms, was 
marched out ; and as the news had spread, many thousands from 
other commands flocked to witness the scene. The firing party, 
ten " Tigers," was drawn up fifteen paces from the prisoners, 
the brigade provost gave the command to fire, and the unhappy 
men fell dead without a struggle. This account is given because 
it was the first military execution in the Army of Northern 
Virginia; and punishment, so closely following offense, pro- 
duced a marked effect. But Major " Bob " "Wheat deserves an 
extended notice. 

In the early summer of 1846, after the victories of Palo 
Alto and Resaca de la Palma, the United States Army under 
General Zachary Taylor lay near the town of Matamoros. Vis- 
iting the hospital of a recently joined volunteer corps from the 
States, I remarked a bright-eyed youth of some nineteen years, 
wan with disease, but cheery withal. The interest he inspired 
led to his removal to army headquarters, where he soon recov- 
ered health and became a pet. This was Bob Wheat, son of an 
Episcopal clergyman, who had left school to come to the war. 
He next went to Cuba with Lopez, was wounded and captured, 
but escaped the garrote to follow Walker to Nicaragua. Ex- 



26 DESTRUCTION AKD RECONSTEUOTIOF. 

haunting the capacities of South American patriots to pronounce, 
he quitted their society in disgust, and joined Garibaldi in Italy, 
whence his keen scent of combat summoned him home in con- 
venient time to receive a bullet at Manassas. The most com- 
plete Dugald Dalgetty possible, he had " all the defects of the 
good qualities " of that doughty warrior. 

Some months after the time of which Lam writing, a body 
of Federal horse was captured in the valley of Yirginia. The 
colonel commanding, who had been dismounted in the fray, ap- 
proached me. A stalwart man, with huge mustaches, cavalry 
boots adorned with spurs worthy of a caballero, slouched hat, 
and plume, he strode along with the nonchalant air of one who 
had wooed Dame Fortune too long to be cast down by her 
frowns. Suddenly Major Wheat, near by, sprang from his horse 
with a cry of "Percy! old boy!" "Why, Bob!" was echoed 
back, and a warm embrace was exchanged. Colonel Percy Wynd- 
ham, an Englishman in the Federal service, had last parted from 
Wheat in Italy, or some other country where the pleasant busi- 
ness of killing was going on, and now fraternized with his friend 
in the manner described. 

Poor Wheat ! A month later, and he slept his last sleep on 
the bloody field of Cold Harbor. He lies there in a soldier's 
grave. Gallant spirit ! let us hope that his readiness to die for 
his cause has made " the scarlet of Ms sins like unto wool." 

As the autumn of the year 1861 passed away, the question 
of army organization pressed for solution, while divergent opin- 
ions were held by the Government at Richmond and General 
Johnston. The latter sent me to President Davis to explain his 
views and urge their adoption. My mission met with no suc- 
cess ; but in discharging it, I was made aware of the estrange- 
ment growing up between these eminent persons, which subse- 
quently became " the spring of woes unnumbered." An earnest 
effort made by me to remove the cloud, then " no greater than 
a man's hand," failed; though the elevation of character of the' 
two men, which made them listen patiently to my appeals, jus- 
tified hope. Time but served to widen the breach. Without 
the knowledge and despite the wishes of General Johnston, the 



AFTER MANASSAS. 27 

descendants of the ancient dwellers in the cave of Adullam 
gathered themselves behind his shield, and shot their arrows at 
President Davis and his advisers, weakening the influence of 
the head of the cause for which all were struggling. 

Immediately after the birth of the Confederacy, a resolution 
was adopted by the " Provisional Congress " declaring that mili- 
tary and naval officers, resigning the service of the United States 
Government to enter that of the Confederate, would preserve 
their relative rank. Later on, the President was authorized to 
make five appointments to the grade of general. These appoint- 
ments were announced after the battle of Manassas, and in the 
following order of seniority: Samuel Cooper, Albert Sidney 
Johnston, Eobert E. Lee, Joseph E. Johnston, and G. T. Beau- 
regard. 

Near the close of President Buchanan's administration, in 
1860, died General Jesup, Quartermaster-General of the United 
States army ; and Joseph E. Johnston, then lieutenant-colonel 
of cavalry, was appointed to the vacancy. Now the Quarter- 
master-General had the rank, pay, and emoluments of a briga- 
dier-general ; but the rank was staff, and by law this officer 
could not exercise command over troops unless by special assign- 
ment. "When, in the spring of 1861, the officers in question 
entered the service of the Confederacy, Cooper had been Adju- 
tant-General of the United States Army, with the rank of colo- 
nel ; Albert Sidney Johnston, colonel and brigadier-general by 
brevet, and on duty as such ; Lee, lieutenant-colonel of cavalry, 
senior to Joseph E. Johnston in the line before the latter's ap- 
pointment above mentioned ; Beauregard, major of engineers. 
In arranging the order of seniority of generals, President Davis 
held to the superiority of line to staff rank, while Joseph E. 
Johnston took the opposite view, and sincerely believed that 
injustice was done him. 

After the grave and wondrous scenes through which we 
have passed, all this seems like " a tempest in a tea-pot ; " but it 
had much influence and deserves attention. 

General Beauregard, who about this time was transferred to 
the army in the "West, commanded by Albert Sidney Johnston, 



28 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

was also known to have grievances. Whatever their source, it 
could not have been rank; bnt it is due to this General — a 
gentleman of taste — to say that no utterances came from him. 
Indiscreet persons at Richmond, claiming the privilege and dis- 
charging the duty of friendship, gave tongue to loud and fre- 
quent plaints, and increased the confusion of the hour. 

As the year 1862 opened, and the time for active move- 
ments drew near, weighty cares attended the commander of the 
Army of Northern Yirginia. The folly of accepting regiments 
for the short period of twelve months, to which allusion has 
"been made, was now apparent. Having taken service in the 
spring of 1861, the time of many of the troops would expire 
just as the Federal host in their front might be expected to ad- 
vance. A large majority of the men were willing to reenlist, 
provided that they could first go home to arrange private affairs ; 
and fortunately, the fearful condition of the country permitted 
the granting of furloughs on a large scale. Except on a few 
pikes, movements were impossible, and an army could no more 
have marched across country than across Chesapeake bay. 
Closet warriors in cozy studies, with smooth macadamized road- 
ways before their doors, sneer at the idea of military movements 
being arrested by mud. I apprehend that these gentlemen have 
never served in a bad country during the rainy season, and are 
ignorant of the fact that, in his Russian campaign, the elements 
proved too strong for the genius of Napoleon. 

General Johnston met the difficulties of his position with 
great coolness, tact, and judgment ; but his burden was by no 
means lightened by the interference of certain politicians at 
Richmond. These were perhaps inflamed by the success that 
had attended the tactical efforts of their Washington peers. 
At all events, they now threw themselves upon military ques- 
tions with much ardor. Their leader was Alexander H. Ste- 
phens of Georgia, Yice-President of the Confederacy, who is 
entitled to a place by himself. 

Like the celebrated John Randolph of Roanoke, Mr. Ste- 
phens has an acute intellect attached to a frail and meagre body. 
As was said by the witty Canon of St. Paul's of Francis Jeffrey, 



AFTER MANASSAS. 29 

his mind is in a state of indecent exposure. A trained and skill- 
ful politician, he was for many years before the war returned 
to the United States House of Representatives from the district 
in which he resides, and his "device" seems always to have 
been, " Fiat justitia, ruat coelum." When, in December, 1849, 
the Congress assembled, there was a Whig administration, and 
the same party had a small majority in the lower House, of 
which Mr. Stephens, an ardent Whig, was a member ; but he 
could not see his way to support his party's candidate for 
Speaker, and this inability to find a road, plain mayhap to 
weaker organs, secured the control of the House to his political 
adversaries. During the exciting period preceding " secession " 
Mr. Stephens held and avowed moderate opinions ; but, swept 
along by the resistless torrent surrounding him, he discovered 
and proclaimed that " slavery was the corner-stone of the con- 
federacy." In the strong vernacular of the West, this was 
"rather piling the agony" on the humanitarians, whose sym- 
pathies were not much quickened toward us thereby. As the 
struggle progressed, Mr. Stephens, with all the impartiality of 
an equity judge, marked many of the virtues of the Government 
north of the Potomac, and all the vices of that on his own side 
of the river. Regarding the military questions in hand he en- 
tertained and publicly expressed original opinions, which I will 
attempt to convey as accurately as possible. The war was for 
principles and rights, and it was in defense of these, as well as 
of their property, that the people had taken up arms. They 
could always be relied on when a battle was imminent ; but, 
when no fighting was to be done, they had best be at home 
attending to their families and interests. As their intelligence 
was equal to their patriotism, they were as capable of judging 
of the necessity of their presence with the colors as the com- 
manders of armies, who were but professional soldiers fighting 
for rank and pay, and most of them without property in the 
South. It may be observed that such opinions are more com- 
fortably cherished by political gentlemen, two hundred miles 
away, than by commanders immediately in front of the enemy. 
In July, 1865, two months after the close of the great war, 



30 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

I visited Washington in the hope of effecting some change in 
the condition of Jefferson Davis, then ill and a prisoner at Fort- 
ress Monroe ; and this visit was protracted to November before 
its object was accomplished. In the latter part of October of 
the same year Mr. Stephens came to Washington, where he was 
the object of much attention on the part of people controlling 
the Congress and the country. Desiring his cooperation in behalf 
of Mr. Davis, I sought and found him sitting near a fire (for 
he is of a chilly nature), smoking his pipe. He heard me in 
severe politeness, and, without unnecessary expenditure of en- 
thusiasm, promised his assistance. Since the war Mr. Stephens 
has again found a seat in the Congress, where, unlike the rebel 
brigadiers, his presence is not a rock of offense to the loyal 
mind.* 

* The foregoing sketch of Mr. Stephens appeared substantially 
in the " North American Review," but the date of the interview 
in Washington was not stated. Thereupon Mr. Stephens, in print, 
seized on July, and declared that, as he was a prisoner in Fort 
Warren during that month, the interview was a "Munchausen- 
ism." He also disputes the correctness of the opinions concerning 
military matters ascribed to him, although scores of his associates 
at Richmond will attest it. Again, he assumes the non-existence 
of twelve-months' regiments because some took service for the 
war, etc. 

Like other ills, feeble health has its compensations, especially 
for those who unite restless vanity and ambition to a feminine 
desire for sympathy. It has been much the habit of Mr. Stephens 
to date controversial epistles from " a sick chamber," as do ladies 
in a delicate situation. A diplomatist of the last century, the 
Chevalier D'Eon, by usurping the privileges of the opposite sex, 
inspired grave doubts concerning his own. 



CHAPTER IY. 

OPENING OF THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN. 

Pursuing " the even tenor of his way," Johnston rapidly 
increased the efficiency of his army. Furloughed men returned 
in large numbers before their leaves had terminated, many 
bringing new recruits with them. Divisions were formed, and 
officers selected to command them. Some islands of dry land 
appeared amid the sea of mud, when the movement of the 
Federal forces in our front changed the theatre of war and 
opened the important campaign of 1862. 

When overtaken by unexpected calamity African tribes de- 
stroy the fetich previously worshiped, and with much noise 
seek some new idol in which they can incarnate their vanities 
and hopes. Stunned by the rout at Manassas, the JSTorth pulled 
down an old veteran, Scott, and his lieutenant, McDowell, and 
set up McClellan, who caught the public eye at the moment 
by reason of some minor successes in Western Virginia, where 
the Confederate General, Robert Garnett, was killed. It is but 
fair to admit that the South had not emulated the wisdom of 
Solomon nor the modesty of Godolphin. The capture of Fort 
Sumter, with its garrison of less than a hundred men, was 
hardly Gibraltar ; yet it would put the grandiloquent hidalgoes 
of Spain on their mettle to make more clatter over the down- 
fall of the cross of St. George from that historic rock. Mc- 
Clellan was the young Napoleon, the very god of war in his 
latest avatar. While this was absurd, and in the end injurious 
to McClellan, it was of service to his Government; for it 
strengthened his loins to the task before him — a task demand- 
ing the highest order of ability and the influence of a demigod. 
A great war was to be carried on, and a great army, the most 
complex of machines, was necessary. 



32 DESTRUCTION" AND EECONSTEUCTION. 

The cardinal principles on which the art of war is based are 
few and unchangeable, resembling in this the code of morality ; 
but their application varies as the theatre of the war, the genius 
and temper of the people engaged, and the kind of arms em- 
ployed. The United States had never possessed a great army. 
The entire force engaged in the war against Mexico would 
scarcely have made a respectable corps cParmee, and to study 
the organization of great armies and campaigns a recurrence to 
the Napoleonic era was necessary. The Governments of Europe 
for a half century had been improving armaments, and chang- 
ing the tactical unit of formation and manoeuvre to correspond 
to such improvement. The Italian campaign of Louis Napo- 
leon established some advance in field artillery, but the supreme 
importance of breech-loaders was not admitted until Sadowa, 
in 1866. All this must be considered in determining the value 
of McClellan's work. Taking the raw material intrusted to 
him, he converted it into a great military machine, complete in 
all its parts, fitted for its intended purpose. Moreover, he re- 
sisted the natural impatience of his Government and people, 
and the follies of politicians and newspapers, and for months 
refused to put his machine at work before all its delicate adjust- 
ments were perfected. Thus, much in its own despite, the 
North obtained armies and the foundation of success. The 
correctness of the system adopted by McClellan proved equal 
to all emergencies, and remained unchanged until the close of 
the war. Disappointed in his hands, and suffering painful de- 
feats in those of his immediate successors, the " Army of the 
Potomac " always recovered, showed itself a vital organism, 
and finally triumphed. McClellan organized victory for his 
section, and those who deem the preservation of the " Union " 
the first of earthly duties should not cease to do him rever- 
ence. 

I have here written of McClellan, not as a leader, but an 
organizer of armies ; and as such he deserves to rank with the 
Von Moltkes, Scharnhorsts, and Louvois of history. 

Constant struggle against the fatal interference of politi- 
cians with his military plans and duties separated McClellan 



OPENING OF THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN. 33 

from the civil department of his Government, and led him to 
adopt a policy of his own. The military road to Richmond, 
and the only one as events proved, was by the peninsula and 
the James river, and it was his duty so to advise. He insisted, 
and had his way ; but not for long. A little of that selfishness 
which serves lower intelligences as an instinct of self-preserva- 
tion would have shown him that his most dangerous enemies 
were not in his front. The Administration at "Washington had 
to deal with a people blind with rage, an ignorant and meddle- 
some Congress, and a wolfish horde of place-hunters. A sud- 
den dash of the Confederates on the capital might change the 
attitude of foreign powers. These political considerations 
weighed heavily at the seat of government, but were of small 
moment to the military commander. In a conflict between 
civil policy and military strategy, the latter must yield. The 
jealousy manifested by the Yenetian and Dutch republics tow- 
ard their commanders has often been criticised ; but it should be 
remembered that they kept the military in strict subjection to 
the civil power; and when they were overthrown, it was by 
foreign invasion, not by military usurpation. Their annals 
afford no example of the declaration by their generals that the 
special purpose of republican armies is to preserve civil order 
and enforce civil law. 

After the battle of Chickamauga, in 1863, General Grant was 
promoted to the command of the armies of the United States, 
and called to Washington. In a conference between him, Presi- 
dent Lincoln, and Secretary Stanton, the approaching campaign 
in Virginia was discussed. Grant said that the advance on Rich- 
mond should be made by the James river. It was replied that 
the Government required the interposition of an army between 
Lee and Washington, and could not consent at that late day to 
the adoption of a plan which would be taken by the public as a 
confession of previous error. Grant observed that he was in- 
different as to routes ; but if the Government preferred its own, 
so often tried, to the one he suggested, it must be prepared for 
the additional loss of a hundred thousand men. The men were 
promised, Grant accepted the governmental plan of campaign, 
3 



34 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

and was supported to the end. The above came to me well au- 
thenticated, and I have no doubt of its correctness.* 

* Some of the early pages of this work were published in the 
number of the "North American Review" for January, 1878, in- 
cluding the above account of a conference at Washington between 
President Lincoln, Secretary Stanton, and General Grant. In the 
"New York Herald" of May 27, 1878, appears an interview with 
General Grant, in which the latter says, " The whole story is a 
fabrication, and whoever vouched for it to General Taylor vouched 
for a fiction." General Halleck, who was at the time in question 
Chief of Staff at the war office, related the story of this conference 
to me in New Orleans, where he was on a visit from Louisville, Ky., 
then his headquarters. Several years later General Joseph E. John- 
ston gave me the same account, which he had from another officer 
of the United States Army, also at the time in the war office. A 
letter from General Johnston, confirming the accuracy of my rela- 
tion, has been published. Since, I have received a letter, dated 
New York, June 6, 1878, wherein the writer states that in Wash- 
ington, in 1868 or 1869, he had an account of this conference, as I 
give it, from General John A. Logan of Illinois. When calling 
for reinforcements, after his losses in the Wilderness, General 
Grant reminded Stanton of his opposition to the land route in their 
conference, but added that " he would now fight it out on this line 
if it takes all summer." The writer of this communication is quite 
unknown to me, but manifests his sincerity by suggesting that I 
should write to General Logan, who, he doubts not, will confirm 
his statement. I have not so written, because I have no acquaint- 
ance with General Logan, and no desire to press the matter further. 
From many sources comes evidence that a conference was held, 
which General Grant seems to deny. Moreover, I cannot forget 
that in one notable instance a question of fact was raised against 
General Grant, with much burden of evidence ; and while declaim- 
ing any wish or intent of entering on another, one may hold in all 
charity that General Grant's memory may be as treacherous about 
facts as mine proved about a date, when, in a letter to the " Her- 
ald," I stupidly gave two years after General Halleck's death as 
the time of his conversation with me. These considerations have 
determined me to let the account of the conference stand as origi- 
nally written. 



OPENING OF THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN. 35 

During his operations on the peninsula and near Richmond, 
McClellan complained much of want of support ; but the con- 
stancy with which President Lincoln adhered to him was, under 
the circumstances, surprising. He had drifted away from the 
dominant Washington sentiment, and alienated the sympathies 
of his Government. His fall was inevitable ; the affection of 
the army but hastened it; even victory could not save him. 
He adopted the habit of saying, "My army," "My soldiers." 
Such phraseology may be employed by a Frederick or Napoleon, 
sovereigns as well as generals ; but officers command the armies 
of their governments. General McClellan is an upright, patri- 
otic man, incapable of wrong-doing, and has a high standard of 
morality, to which he lives more closely than most men do - to a 
lower one ; but it is to be remembered that the examples of the 
good are temptations and opportunities to the unscrupulous. 
The habit of thought underlying such language, or soon engen- 
dered by its use, has made Mexico and the South American re- 
publics the wonder and scorn of civilization. 

The foregoing account of McClellan's downfall is deemed 
pertinent because he was the central figure in the Northern field, 
and laid the foundation of Northern success. Above all, he and 
a gallant band of officers supporting him impressed a generous, 
chivalric spirit on the war, which soon faded away; and the 
future historian, in recounting some later operations, will doubt 
if he is dealing with campaigns of generals or expeditions of 
brigands. 

The intention of McClellan to transfer his base from Wash- 
ington to some point farther south was known to Johnston, but 
there was doubt whether Fredericksburg or the Peninsula would 
be selected. To meet either contingency, Johnston in the spring 
of 1862 moved his army from Manassas to the vicinity of Orange 
Court House, where he was within easy reach of both Fredericks- 
burg and Richmond. The movement was executed with the 
quiet precision characteristic of Johnston, unrivaled as a master 
of logistics. 

I was ordered to withdraw the infantry pickets from the 
lower Bull Run after nightfall, and move on a road through the 



36 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

county of Prince William, east of the line of railway from 
Manassas to Orange. This road was tough and heavy, and crossed 
by frequent streams, affluents of the neighboring Potomac. 
These furnished occupation and instruction to a small body of 
pioneers, recently organized, while the difficulties of the road 
drew heavily on the marching capacity — or rather incapacity — 
of the men. Straggling was then, and continued throughout to 
be, the vice of Southern armies. The climate of the South was 
not favorable to pedestrian exercise, and, centaur-like, its inhab- 
itants, from infancy to old age, passed their lives on horseback, 
seldom walking the most insignificant distance. When brought 
into the field, the men were as ignorant of the art of marching 
as babes, and required for their instruction the same patient, un- 
wearied attention. On this and subsequent marches frequent 
halts were made, to enable stragglers to close up ; and I set the 
example to mounted officers of riding to the rear of the column, 
to encourage the weary by relieving them of their arms, and 
occasionally giving a footsore fellow a cast on my horse. The 
men appreciated this care and attention, followed advice as to 
the fitting of their shoes, cold bathing of feet, and healing of 
abrasions, and soon held it a disgrace to fall out of ranks. Be- 
fore a month had passed the brigade learned how to march, and, 
in the Valley with Jackson, covered long distances without leav- 
ing a straggler behind. Indeed, in several instances it emulated 
the achievement of Crauford's " Light Brigade," whose wonder- 
ful march to join Wellington at Talavera remains the stoutest 
feat of modern soldiership. 

Arrived at the Rappahannock, I found the railway bridge 
floored for the passage of troops and trains. The army, with 
the exception of Ewell's division, composed of Elzey's, Trim- 
ball's, and my brigades, had passed the Papidan, and was lying 
around Orange Court House, where General Johnston had his 
headquarters. Some horse, under Stuart, remained north of the 
Pappahannock, toward Manassas. 

For the first time Ewell had his division together and under 
his immediate command ; and as we remained for many days 
between the rivers, I had abundant opportunities for studying 



OPENING OF THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN. 37 

the original character of " Dick Ewell." We had known each 
other for many years, but now our friendship and intercourse 
became close and constant. Graduated from West Point in 
1S40, Ewell joined the 1st regiment of United States dragoons, 
and, saving the Mexican war, in which he served with such dis- 
tinction as a young cavalryman could gain, his whole military 
life had been passed on the plains, where, as he often asserted, 
he had learned all about commanding fifty United States dra- 
goons, and forgotten everything else. In this he did himself 
injustice, as his career proves ; but he was of a singular modesty. 
Bright, prominent eyes, a bomb-shaped, bald head, and a nose 
like that of Francis of Yalois, gave him a striking resemblance 
to a woodcock ; and this was increased by a bird-like habit of 
putting his head on one side to utter his quaint speeches. He 
fancied that he had some mysterious internal malady, and would 
eat nothing but frumenty, a preparation of wheat; and his 
plaintive way of talking of his disease, as if he were some one 
else, was droll in the extreme. His nervousness prevented him 
from taking regular sleep, and he passed nights curled around a 
camp-stool, in positions to dislocate an ordinary person's joints 
and drive the " caoutchouc man " to despair. On such occa- 
sions, after long silence, he would suddenly direct his eyes and 
nose toward me with " General Taylor ! What do you suppose 
President Davis made me a major-general for ? " — beginning 
with a sharp accent and ending with a gentle lisp. Superbly 
mounted, he was the boldest of horsemen, invariably leaving 
the roads to take, timber and water. ISTo follower of the 
" Pytchley " or " Quorn " could have lived with him across 
country. With a fine tactical eye on the battle field, he was 
never content with his own plan until he had secured the ap- 
proval of another's judgment, and chafed under the restraint of 
command, preparing to fight with the skirmish line. On two 
occasions in the Valley, during the temporary absence of Jack- 
son from the front, Ewell summoned me to his side, and im- 
mediately rushed forward among the skirmishers, where some 
sharp work was going on. Having refreshed himself, he re- 
turned with the hope that " old Jackson would not catch him 



38 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

at it." He always spoke of Jackson, several years his junior, 
as " old," and told me in confidence that he admired his genius, 
but was certain of his lunacy, and that he never saw one of 
Jackson's couriers approach without expecting an order to as- 
sault the north pole. 

Later, after he had heard Jackson seriously declare that he 
never ate pepper because it produced a weakness in his left leg, 
he was confirmed in this opinion. "With all his oddities, per- 
haps in some measure because of them, Ewell was adored by 
officers and men. 

Orders from headquarters directed all surplus provisions, in 
the country between the Rappahannock and Rapidan, to be 
sent south of the latter stream. Executing these orders strictly, 
as we daily expected to rejoin the army, the division began to 
be straitened for supplies. The commissary of my brigade, 
Major Davis, was the very pearl of commissaries. Indefatigable 
in discharge of duty, he had as fine a nose for bullocks and 
bacon as Major Monsoon for sherry. The commissaries of the 
other brigades were less efficient, and for some days drew ra- 
tions from Davis ; but it soon became my duty to take care of 
my own command, and General Ewell's attention was called to 
the subject. The General thought that it was impossible so 
rich a country could be exhausted, and sallied forth on a cattle 
hunt himself. Late in the day he returned with a bull, jaded 
as was he of Ballyraggan after he had been goaded to the sum- 
mit of that classic pass, and venerable enough to have fertilized 
the milky mothers of the herds of our early Presidents, whose 
former estates lie in this vicinity. "With a triumphant air Ewell 
showed me his plunder. I observed that the bull was a most 
respectable animal, but would hardly afford much subsistence to 
eight thousand men. " Ah ! I was thinking of my fifty dra- 
goons," replied the General. The joke spread, and doubtless 
furnished sauce for the happy few to whose lot the bull fell. 

Meantime, the cavalry force in our front had been withdrawn, 
and the Federal pickets made their appearance on the north 
bank of the Rappahannock, occasionally exchanging a shot with 
ours across the stream. This served to enliven us for a day 



OPENING OF THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN. 39 

or two, and kept Ewell busy, as lie always feared lest some one 
would get under fire before him. At length a fire of artillery 
and small arms was opened from the north end of the bridge, 
near the south end of which my brigade was camped. Order- 
ing the command to move out, I galloped down to the river, 
where I found Ewell assisting with his own hands to place some 
guns in position. The affair was over in a few minutes. The 
enemy had quietly run up two pieces of artillery, supported by 
dismounted horsemen, and opened fire on my camp ; but the 
promptness with which the men had moved prevented loss, sav- 
ing one or two brush huts, and a few mess pans. 

The bridge had previously been prepared for burning, Ewell's 
orders being to destroy all railway bridges behind him, to pre- 
vent the use of the rails by the Federals. During the little alerte 
mentioned, I saw smoke rising from the bridge, which was soon 
a mass of flame. Now, this was the only bridge for some miles 
up or down ; and though the river was f ordable at many points, 
the fords were deep and impassable after rains. Its premature 
destruction not only prevented us from scouting and foraging on 
the north bank, but gave notice to the enemy of our purpose to 
abandon the country. Annoyed, and doubtless expressing the 
feeling in my countenance, as I watched the flames, Ewell, after 
a long silence, said, " You don't like it." Whereupon I related 
the following from Bugeaud's " Maxims " : At the close of the 
^Napoleonic wars, Bugeaud, a young colonel, commanded a 
French regiment on the Swiss frontier. A stream spanned by 
a bridge, but f ordable above and below, separated him from an 
Austrian force of four times his strength. He first determined 
to destroy the bridge, but reflected that if left it might tempt 
the enemy, whenever he moved, to neglect the fords. Accord- 
ingly, he masked his regiment as near his end of the bridge as 
the topography of the ground permitted, and waited. The 
Austrians moved by the bridge, and Bugeaud, seizing the mo- 
ment, fell upon them in the act of crossing and destroyed the 
entire force. Moral : 'Tis easier to watch and defend one bridge 
than many miles of f ordable water. " Why did you keep the 
story until the bridge was burnt ? " exclaimed Ewell. Subse- 



40 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

quently, alleging that lie had small opportunity for study after 
leaving West Point, he drew from me whatever some reading 
and a good memory could supply; but his shrewd remarks 
changed many erroneous opinions I had formed, and our 
" talks " were of more value to me than to him. 

As our next move, hourly expected, would take us beyond 
the reach of railways, I here reduced the brigade to light 
marching order. My own kit, consisting of a change of under- 
wear and a tent " fly," could be carried on my horse. A fly can 
be put up in a moment, and by stopping the weather end with 
boughs a comfortable hut is made. The men carried each his 
blanket, an extra shirt and drawers, two pairs of socks (woolen), 
and a pair of extra shoes. These, with his arm and ammunition, 
were a sufficient load for strong marching. Tents, especially in 
a wooded country, are not only a nuisance, involving much trans- 
portation, the bane of armies, but are detrimental to health. 
In cool weather they are certain to be tightly closed, and the 
number of men occupying them breeds a foul atmosphere. The 
rapidity with which men learn to shelter themselves, and their 
ingenuity in accomplishing it under unfavorable conditions, are 
surprising. My people grumbled no little at being " stripped," 
but soon admitted that they were better for it, and came to des- 
pise useless impedimenta. 

I early adopted two customs, and adhered to them throughout 
the war. The first was to examine at every halt the adjacent 
roads and paths, their direction and condition; distances of 
nearest towns and cross-roads ; the country, its capacity to fur- 
nish supplies, as well as general topography, etc., all of which 
was embodied in a rude sketch, with notes to impress it on mem- 
ory. The second was to imagine while on the march an enemy 
before me to be attacked, or to be received in my position, and 
make the necessary dispositions for either contingency. My 
imaginary manoeuvres were sad blunders, but I corrected them 
by experience drawn from actual battles, and can safely affirm 
that such slight success as I had in command was due to these 
customs. Assuredly, a knowledge of details will not make a 
great general ; but there can be no greatness in war without 



OPENING OF THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN. 41 

such knowledge, for genius is but a capacity to grasp and apply 
details. 

These observations are not for the " heaven-born," who from 
their closets scan with eagle glance fields of battle, whose mighty 
pens slay their thousands and their tens of thousands, and in 
whose " Serbonian" inkstands " armies whole " disappear ; but it 
is hoped that they may prove useful to the young adopting the 
profession of arms, who may feel assured that the details of the 
art of war afford " scope and verge " for the employment of all 
their faculties. Conscientious study will not perhaps make them 
great, but it will make them respectable ; and when the respon- 
sibility of command comes, they will not disgrace their flag, 
injure their cause, nor murder their men. 



OHAPTEE V. 



THE VALLEY CAMPAIGN. 



At length the expected order to march came, and we moved 
south to Gordonsville. In one of his letters to Madame du 
Deffand, Horace "Walpole writes of the English spring as " com- 
ing in with its accustomed severity," and such was our experi- 
ence of a Virginian spring ; or rather, it may be said that win- 
ter returned with renewed energy, and we had for several days 
snow, sleet, rain, and all possible abominations in the way of 
weather. Arrived at Gordonsville, whence the army had de- 
parted for the Peninsula, we met orders to join Jackson in the 
Valley, and marched thither by Swift Eun " Gap " — the local 
name for mountain passes. Swift Eun, an affluent of the Eap- 
idan, has its source in this gap. The orders mentioned were the 
last received from General Joseph E. Johnston, from whom 
subsequent events separated me until the close of the war ; and 
occasion is thus furnished for the expression of opinion of his 
character and services. 

In the full vigor of mature manhood, erect, alert, quick, and 
decisive of speech, General Johnston was the beau ideal of a 
soldier. Without the least proneness to blandishments, he 
gained and held the affection and confidence of his men. 
Brave and impetuous in action, he had been often wounded, 
and no officer of the general staff of the old United States 
army had seen so much actual service with troops. During the 
Mexican war he was permitted to take command of a voltigeur 
regiment, and rendered brilliant service. In 1854 he resigned 
from the engineers to accept the lieutenant-colonelcy of a cav- 
alry regiment. When the civil war became certain, a Virginian 



THE VALLEY CAMPAIGN". 43 

by birth, he left the position of Quartermaster-General of the 
United States, and offered his sword to the Confederacy. To the 
East, as his great namesake Albert Sidney to the "West, he was 
"the rose and fair expectancy " of onr cause; and his timely 
march from Patterson's front in the Yalley to assist Beauregard 
at Manassas confirmed public opinion of his capacity. Yet he 
cannot be said to have proved a fortunate commander. Leav- 
ing out of view Bentonville and the closing scenes in North 
Carolina, which were rather the spasmodic efforts of despair 
than regular military movements, General Johnston's " offen- 
sive " must be limited to Seven Pines or Fair Oaks. Here his 
plan was well considered and singularly favored of fortune. 
Some two corps of McClellan's army were posted on the south- 
west or Richmond side of the Chickahominy, and a sudden rise 
of that stream swept away bridges and overflowed the adjacent 
lowlands, cutting off these corps from their supports. They 
ought to have been crushed, but Johnston fell, severely wound- 
ed ; upon which confusion ensued, and no results of importance 
were attained. Official reports fail, most unwisely, to fix the 
responsibility of the failure, and I do not desire to add to the 
gossip prevailing then and since. 

Prom his own account of the war we can gather that John- 
ston regrets he did not fight on the Oostenaula, after Polk had 
joined him. It appears that in a council two of his three corps 
commanders, Polk, Hardee, and Hood, were opposed to fight- 
ing there ; but to call a council at all was a weakness not to be 
expected of a general of Johnston's ability and self-reliant nature. 

I have written of him as a master of logistics, and his skill 
in handling troops was great. As a retreat, the precision and 
coolness of his movements during the Georgia campaign would 
have enhanced the reputation of Moreau ; but it never seems to 
have occurred to him to assume the offensive during the many 
turning movements of his flanks, movements involving time 
and distance. Dispassionate reflection would have brought him 
to the conclusion that Lee was even more overweighted in Vir- 
ginia than he in Georgia ; that his Government had given him 
every available man, only leaving small garrisons at Wilming- 



4£ DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

ton, Charleston, Savannah, and Mobile ; that Forrest's com- 
mand in Mississippi, operating on Sherman's communications, 
was virtually doing his work, while it was idle to expect assist- 
ance from the trans-Mississippi region. Certainly, no more 
egregious blunder was possible than that of relieving him from 
command in front of Atlanta. If he intended to fight there, 
he was entitled to execute his plan. Had he abandoned Atlanta 
without a struggle, his removal would have met the approval 
of the army and public, an approval which, under the circum- 
stances of its action, the Richmond Government failed to re- 
ceive. 

I am persuaded that General Johnston's mind was so jaun- 
diced by the unfortunate disagreement with President Davis, 
to which allusion has been made in an earlier part of these 
reminiscences, as to seriously cloud his judgment and impair 
his usefulness. He sincerely believed himself the Esau of the 
Government, grudgingly fed on bitter herbs, while a favored 
Jacob enjoyed the fiesh-pots. Having known him intimately 
for many years, having served under his command and studied 
his methods, I feel confident that his great abilities under hap- 
pier conditions would have distinctly modified, if not changed, 
the current of events. Destiny willed that Davis and John- 
ston should be brought into collision, and the breach, once made, 
was never repaired. Each misjudged the other to the end. 

Ewell's division reached the western base of Swift Run 
Gap on a lovely spring evening, April 30, 1862, and in crossing 
the Blue Ridge seemed to have left winter and its rigors be- 
hind. Jackson, whom we moved to join, had suddenly that 
morning marched toward McDowell, some eighty miles west, 
where, after uniting with a force under General Edward John- 
son, he defeated the Federal general Milroy. Some days later 
he as suddenly returned. Meanwhile we were ordered to re- 
main in camp on the Shenandoah near Conrad's store, at which 
place a bridge spanned the stream. 

The great Yalley of Yirginia was before us in all its beauty. 
Fields of wheat spread far and wide, interspersed with wood- 
lands, bright in their robes of tender green. Wherever appro- 



THE VALLEY CAMPAIGN. 45 

priate sites existed, quaint old mills, with turning wheels, were 
busily grinding the previous year's harvest; and grove and 
eminence showed comfortable homesteads. The soft vernal 
influence shed a languid grace over the scene. The theatre of 
war in this region was from Staunton to the Potomac, one 
hundred and twenty miles, with an average width of some 
twenty-five miles ; and the Blue Ridge and Alleghanies bounded 
it east and west. Drained by the Shenandoah with its numer- 
ous affluents, the surface was nowhere flat, but a succession of 
graceful swells, occasionally rising into abrupt hills. Resting 
on limestone, the soil was productive, especially of wheat, and 
the underlying rock furnished abundant metal for the construc- 
tion of roads. Railway communication was limited to the Vir- 
ginia Central, which entered the Valley by a tunnel east of 
Staunton and passed westward through that town ; to the 
Manassas Gap, which traversed the Blue Ridge at the pass of 
that name and ended at Strasburg ; and to the "Winchester and 
Harper's Ferry, thirty miles long. The first extended to Rich- 
mond by Charlottesville and Gordonsville, crossing at the for- 
mer place the line from Washington and Alexandria to Lynch- 
burg; the second connected Strasburg and Front Royal, in 
the Valley, with the same line at Manassas Junction ; and the 
last united with the Baltimore and Ohio at Harper's Ferry. 
Frequent passes or gaps in the mountains, through which wagon 
roads had been constructed, afforded easy access from east 
and west ; and pikes were excellent, though unmetaled roads 
became heavy after rains. 

But the glory of the Valley is Massanutten. Rising ab- 
ruptly from the plain near Harrisonburg, twenty-five miles 
north of Staunton, this lovely mountain extends fifty miles, 
and as suddenly ends near Strasburg. Parallel with the Blue 
Ridge, and of equal height, its sharp peaks have a bolder and 
more picturesque aspect, while the abruptness of its slopes gives 
the appearance of greater altitude. Midway of Massanutten, 
a gap with good road affords communication between Newmar- 
ket and Luray. The eastern or Luray valley, much narrower 
than the one west of Massanutten, is drained by the east branch 



4:8 DESTRUCTION AKD RECONSTRUCTION. 

of tlie Shenandoah, which is joined at Front Royal, near the 
northern end of the mountain, by its western affluent, whence 
the united waters flow north, at the base of the Blue Ridge, to 
meet the Potomac at Harper's Ferry. 

The inhabitants of this favored region were worthy of their 
inheritance. The north and south were peopled by scions of 
old colonial families, and the proud names of the " Old Domin- 
ion" abounded. In the central counties of Rockingham and 
Shenandoah were many descendants of German settlers. These 
were thrifty, substantial farmers, and, like their kinsmen of 
Pennsylvania, expressed their opulence in huge barns and fat 
cattle. The devotion of all to the Southern cause was won- 
derful. Jackson, a Yalley man by reason of his residence at 
Lexington, south of Staunton, was their hero and idol. The 
women sent husbands, sons, lovers, to battle as cheerfully as to 
marriage feasts. ~No oppression, no destitution could abate their 
zeal. Upon a march I was accosted by two elderly sisters, who 
told me they had secreted a large quantity of bacon in a well on 
their estate, hard by. Federals had been in possession of the 
country, and, fearing the indiscretion of their slaves, they had 
done the work at night with their own hands, and now desired 
to give the meat to their people. Wives and daughters of mill- 
ers, whose husbands and brothers were in arms, worked the 
mills night and day to furnish flour to their soldiers. To the 
last, women would go distances to carry the modicum of food 
between themselves and starvation to a suffering Confederate. 
Should the sons of Yirginia ever commit dishonorable acts, 
grim indeed will be their reception on the further shores of 
Styx. They can expect no recognition from the mothers who 
bore them. 

Ere the war closed, the Yalley was ravaged with a cruelty 
surpassing that inflicted on the Palatinate two hundred years 
ago. That foul deed smirched the fame of Louvois and Tu- 
renne, and public opinion, in what has been deemed a ruder 
age, forced an apology from the " Grand Monarque." Yet we 
have seen the official report of a Federal general wherein are 
recounted the many barns, mills, and other buildings destroyed, 



THE VALLEY CAMPAIGN. 47 

concluding with the assertion that " a crow flying over the Val- 
ley must take rations with him." In the opinion of the admir- 
ers of the officer making this report, the achievement on which 
it is based ranks with Marengo. Moreover, this same officer, 
General Sheridan, many years after the close of the war, de- 
nounced several hundred thousands of his fellow citizens as 
" banditti," and solicited permission of his Government to deal 
with them as such. May we not well ask whether religion, 
education, science and art combined have lessened the brutality 
of man since the days of "Wallenstein and Tilly ? 

"While in camp near Conrad's store, the 7th Louisiana, Colo- 
nel Hays, a crack regiment, on picket down stream, had a spir- 
ited affair, in which the enemy was driven with the loss of a 
score of prisoners. Shortly after, for convenience of supplies, 
I was directed to cross the river and camp some miles to the 
southwest. The command was in superb condition, and a four- 
gun battery from Bedford county, Virginia, Captain Bowyer, 
had recently been added to it. The four regiments, 6th, 7th, 
8th, and 9 th Louisiana, would average above eight hundred 
bayonets. Of Wheat's battalion of " Tigers " and the 7th I 
have written. The 6th, Colonel Seymour, recruited in ISTew 
Orleans, was composed of Irishmen, stout, hardy fellows, tur- 
bulent in camp and requiring a strong hand, but responding to 
kindness and justice, and ready to follow their officers to the 
death. The 9th, Colonel Stafford, was from North Louisiana. 
Planters or sons of planters, many of them men of fortune, 
soldiering was a hard task to which they only became recon- 
ciled by reflecting that it was " niddering " in gentlemen to 
assume voluntarily the discharge of duties and then shirk. The 
8th, Colonel Kelly, was from the Attakapas — " Acadians," the 
race of which Longfellow sings in " Evangeline." A home- 
loving, simple people, few spoke English, fewer still had ever 
before moved ten miles from their natal cabanas ; and the war 
to them was " a liberal education," as was the society of the lady 
of quality to honest Dick Steele. They had all the light gay- 
ety of the Gaul, and, after the manner of their ancestors, were 
born cooks. A capital regimental band accompanied them, 



48 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

and whenever weather and ground permitted, even after long 
marches, they would waltz and " polk " in couples with as much 
zest as if their arms encircled the supple waists of the Celes- 
tines and Melazies of their native Teche. The Yalley soldiers 
were largely of the Presbyterian faith, and of a solemn, pious 
demeanor, and looked askant at the caperings of my Creoles, 
holding them to be " devices and snares." 

The brigade adjutant, Captain (afterward Colonel) Eustace 
Surget, who remained with me until the war closed, was from 
Mississippi, where he had large estates. Without the slight- 
est military training, by study and zeal, he soon made himself 
an accomplished staff officer. Of singular coolness in battle, 
he never blundered, and, though much exposed, pulled through 
without a scratch. My aide, Lieutenant Hamilton, grandson 
of General Hamilton of South Carolina, was a cadet in his sec- 
ond year at "West Point when war was declared, upon which he 
returned to his State — a gay, cheery lad, with all the pluck of 
his race. 

At nightfall of the second day in this camp, an order came 
from General Jackson to join him at Newmarket, twenty odd 
miles north ; and it was stated that my division commander, 
Ewell, had been apprised of the order. Our position was near 
a pike leading south of west to Harrisonburg, whence, to gain 
Newmarket, the great Yalley pike ran due north. All roads 
near our camp had been examined and sketched, and among 
them was a road running northwest over the southern foot-hills 
of Massanutten, and joining the Yalley pike some distance to 
the north of Harrisonburg. It was called the Keazletown 
road, from a little German village on the flank of Massanutten ; 
and as it was the hypothenuse of the triangle, and reported 
good except at two points, I decided to take it. That night a 
pioneer party was sent forward to light fires and repair the road 
for artillery and trains. Early dawn saw us in motion, with 
lovely weather, a fairish road, and men in high health and spirits. 

Later in the day a mounted officer was dispatched to report 
our approach and select a camp, which proved to be beyond 
Jackson's forces, then lying in the fields on both sides of the 



THE VALLEY CAMPAIGN. 49 

pike. Over three thousand strong, neat in fresh clothing of 
gray with white gaiters, bands playing at the head of their regi- 
ments, not a straggler, bnt every man in his place, stepping jaun- 
tily as on parade, though it had marched twenty miles and more, 
in open column with arms at " right shoulder shift," and rays 
of the declining sun flaming on polished bayonets, the brigade 
moved down the broad, smooth pike, and wheeled on to its 
camping ground. Jackson's men, by thousands, had gathered 
on either side of the road to see us pass. Indeed, it was a mar- 
tial sight, and no man with a spark of sacred fire in his heart 
but would have striven hard to prove worthy of such a com- 
mand. 

After attending to necessary camp details, I sought Jackson, 
whom I had never met. And here it may be remarked that he 
then by no means held the place in public estimation which he 
subsequently attained. His Manassas reputation was much im- 
paired by operations in the Yalley, to which he had been sent 
after that action. The winter march on Romney had resulted 
in little except to freeze and discontent his troops ; which discon- 
tent was shared and expressed by the authorities at Richmond) 
and Jackson resigned. The influence of Colonel Alek Boteler, 
seconded by that of the Governor of Virginia, induced him to 
withdraw the resignation. At Kernstown, three miles south of 
Winchester, he was roughly handled by the Federal General 
Shields, and only saved from serious disaster by the failure of 
that officer to push his advantage, though Shields was usually 
energetic. 

The mounted officer who had been sent on in advance point- 
ed out a figure perched on the topmost rail of a fence overlook- 
ing the road and field, and said it was Jackson. Approaching, 
I saluted and declared my name and rank, then waited for a 
response. Before this came I had time to see a pair of cavalry 
boots covering feet of gigantic size, a mangy cap with visor 
drawn low, a heavy, dark beard, and weary eyes — eyes I after- 
ward saw filled with intense but never brilliant light. A low, 
gentle voice inquired the road and distance marched that day. 
" Keazletown road, six and twenty miles." " You, seem to have. 
4 



50 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

no stragglers." " Never allow straggling." " You must teach 
my people ; they straggle badly." A bow in reply. Just then 
my Creoles started their band and a waltz. After a contempla- 
tive suck at a lemon, " Thoughtless fellows for serious work " 
came forth. I expressed a hope that the work would not be 
less well done because of the gayety. A return to the lemon 
gave me the opportunity to retire. Where Jackson got his 
lemons " no fellow could find out," but he was rarely without 
one. To have lived twelve miles from that fruit would have 
disturbed him as much as it did the witty Dean. 

Quite late that night General Jackson came to my camp fire, 
where he stayed some hours. He said we would move at dawn, 
asked a few questions about the marching of my men, which 
seemed to have impressed him, and then remained silent. If 
silence be golden, he was a " bonanza." He sucked lemons, ate 
hard-tack, and drank water, and praying and fighting appeared 
to be his idea of the " whole duty of man." 

In the gray of the morning, as I was forming my column 
on the pike, Jackson appeared and gave the route — north — 
which, from the situation of its camp, put my brigade in ad- 
vance of the army. After moving a short distance in this 
direction, the head of the column was turned to the east and 
took the road over Massanutten gap to Luray. Scarce a word 
was spoken on the march, as Jackson rode with me. From 
time to time a courier would gallop up, report, and return 
toward Luray. An ungraceful horseman, mounted on a sorry 
chestnut with a shambling gait, his huge feet with outturned 
toes thrust into his stirrups, and such parts of his countenance 
as the low visor of his shocking cap failed to conceal wearing a 
wooden look, our new commander was not prepossessing. That 
night we crossed the east branch of the Shenandoah by a bridge, 
and camped on the stream, near Luray. Here, after three long 
marches, we were but a short distance below Conrad's store, a 
point we had left several days before. I began to think that 
Jackson was an unconscious poet, and, as an ardent lover of na- 
ture, desired to give strangers an opportunity to admire the 
beauties of his Yalley. It seemed hard lines to be wandering 



THE VALLEY CAMPAIGN. 51 

like sentimental travelers about the country, instead of gaining 
" kudos " on the Peninsula. 

Off the next morning, my command still in advance, and 
Jackson riding with me. The road led north between the east 
bank of the river and the western base of the Blue Ridge. 
Rain had fallen and softened it, so as to delay the wagon trains 
in rear. Past midday we reached a wood extending from the 
mountain to the river, when a mounted officer from the rear 
called Jackson's attention, who rode back with him. A moment 
later, there rushed out of the wood to meet us a young, rather 
well-looking woman, afterward widely known as Belle Boyd. 
Breathless with speed and agitation, some time elapsed before 
she found her voice. Then, with much volubility, she said we 
were near Front Royal, beyond the wood ; that the town was 
filled with Federals, whose camp was on the west side of the 
river, where they had guns in position to cover the wagon bridge, 
but none bearing on the railway bridge below the former ; that 
they believed Jackson to be west of Massanutten, near Harri- 
sonburg ; that General Banks, the Federal commander, was at 
Winchester, twenty miles northwest of Front Royal, where he 
was slowly concentrating his widely scattered forces to meet Jack- 
son's advance, which was expected some days later. All this 
she told with the precision of a staff officer making a report, 
and it was true to the letter. Jackson was possessed of these 
facts before he left Newmarket, and based his movements upon 
them ; but, as he never told anything, it was news to me, and 
gave me an idea of the strategic value of Massanutten — pointed 
out, indeed, by "Washington before the Revolution. There also 
dawned on me quite another view of our leader than the one 
from which I had been regarding him for two days past. 

Convinced of the correctness of the woman's statements, I 
hurried forward at " a double," hoping to surprise the enemy's 
idlers in the town, or swarm over the wagon bridge with them 
and secure it. Doubtless this was rash, but I felt immensely 
" cocky " about my brigade, and believed, that it would prove 
equal to any demand. Before we had cleared the wood Jackson 
came galloping from the rear, followed by a company of horse. 



52 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

He ordered me to deploy my leading regiment as skirmishers 
on both sides of the road and continue the advance, then passed 
on. "We speedily came in sight of Front Royal, but the enemy 
had taken the alarm, and his men were scurrying over the bridge 
to their camp, where troops could be seen forming. The situa- 
tion of the village is surpassingly beautiful. It lies near the 
east bank of the Shenandoah, which just below unites all its 
waters, and looks directly on the northern peaks of Massanutten. 
The Blue Ridge, with Manassas Gap, through which passes the 
railway, overhangs it on the east ; distant Alleghany bounds the 
horizon to the west ; and down the Shenandoah, the eye ranges 
over a fertile, well-farmed country. Two bridges spanned the 
river — a wagon bridge above, a railway bridge some yards lower. 
A good pike led to "Winchester, twenty miles, and another fol- 
lowed the river north, whence many cross-roads united with the 
Valley pike near "Winchester. The river, swollen by rain, was 
deep and turbulent, with a strong current. The Federals were 
posted on the west bank, here somewhat higher than the oppo- 
site, and a short distance above the junction of waters, with bat- 
teries bearing more especially on the upper bridge. 

Under instructions, my brigade was drawn up in line, a little 
retired from the river, but overlooking it — the Federals and 
their guns in full view. So far, not a shot had been fired. I 
rode down to the river's brink to get a better look at the enemy 
through a field-glass, when my horse, heated by the march, 
stepped into the water to drink. Instantly a brisk fire was 
opened on me, bullets striking all around and raising a little 
shower-bath. Like many a foolish fellow, I found it easier to 
get into than out of a difficulty. I had not yet led my command 
into action, and, remembering that one must " strut " one's little 
part to the best advantage, sat my horse with all the com- 
posure I could muster. A provident camel, on the eve of a 
desert journey, would not have laid in a greater supply of water 
than did my thoughtless beast. At last he raised his head, looked 
placidly around, turned, and walked up the bank. 

This little incident was not without value, for my men wel- 
comed me with a cheer ; upon which, as if in response, the ene- 



THE VALLEY CAMPAIGN. 53 

my's guns opened, and, having the range, inflicted some loss on 
my line. "We had no guns up to reply, and, in advance as has 
been mentioned, had outmarched the troops behind us. Motion- 
less as a statue, Jackson sat his horse some few yards away, and 
seemed lost in thought. Perhaps the circumstances mentioned 
some pages back had obscured his star ; but if so, a few short 
hours swept away the cloud, and it blazed, Sirius-like, over 
the land. I approached him with the suggestion that the rail- 
way bridge might be passed by stepping on the cross-ties, as the 
enemy's guns bore less directly on it than on the upper bridge. 
He nodded approval. The 8th regiment was on the right of 
my line, near at hand ; and dismounting, Colonel Kelly led it 
across under a sharp musketry fire. Several men fell to dis- 
appear in the dark water beneath ; but the movement continued 
with great rapidity, considering the difficulty of walking on ties, 
and Kelly with his leading files gained the opposite shore. 
Thereupon the enemy fired combustibles previously placed near 
the center of the wagon bridge. The loss of this structure 
would have seriously delayed us, as the railway bridge was not 
floored, and I looked at Jackson, who, near by, was watching 
Kelly's progress. Again he nodded, and my command rushed 
at the bridge. Concealed by the cloud of smoke, the sudden- 
ness of the movement saved us from much loss; but it was 
rather a near thing. My horse and clothing were scorched, and 
many men burned their hands severely while throwing brands 
into the river. We were soon over, and the enemy in full flight 
to Winchester, with loss of camp, guns, and prisoners. Just as 
I emerged from flames and smoke, Jackson was by my side. 
How he got there was a mystery, as the bridge was thronged 
with my men going at full speed ; but smoke and fire had de- 
cidedly freshened up his costume. 

In the angle formed by the two branches of the river was 
another camp held by a Federal regiment from Maryland. This 
was captured by a gallant little regiment of Marylanders, Col- 
onel Bradley Johnson, on our side. I had no connection with 
this spirited affair, saving that these Marylanders had acted 
with my command during the day, though not attached to it. 



54 DESTRUCTION" AND RECONSTRUCTION". 

We followed the enemy on the "Winchester road, but to little 
purpose, as we had few horsemen over the river. Carried away 
by his ardor, my commissary, Major Davis, gathered a score of 
mounted orderlies and couriers, and pursued until a volley from 
the enemy's rear guard laid him low on the road, shot through 
the head. During my service west of the Mississippi River, I 
sent for the colonel of a mounted regiment from western Texas, 
a land of herdsmen, and asked him if he could furnish men to 
hunt and drive in cattle. " "Why ! bless you, sir, I have men 
who can find cattle where there aint any" was his reply. 
"Whatever were poor Davis's abilities as to non-existent supplies, 
he could find all the country afforded, and had a wonderful way 
of cajoling old. women out of potatoes, cabbages, onions, and 
other garden stuff, giving variety to camp rations, and of no 
small importance in preserving the health of troops. "We buried 
him in a field near the place of his fall. He was much beloved 
by the command, and many gathered quietly around the grave. 
As there was no chaplain at hand, I repeated such portions ot 
the service for the dead as a long neglect of pious things en- 
abled me to recall. 

Late in the night Jackson came out of the darkness and 
seated himself by my camp fire. He mentioned that I would 
move with him in the morning, then relapsed into silence. I 
fancied he looked at me kindly, and interpreted it into an ap- 
proval of the conduct of the brigade. The events of the day, 
anticipations of the morrow, the death of Davis, drove away 
sleep, and I watched Jackson. For hours he sat silent and mo- 
tionless, with eyes fixed on the fire. I took up the idea that he 
was inwardly praying, and he remained throughout the night. 

Off in the morning, Jackson leading the way, my brigade, a 
small body of horse, and a section of the Rockbridge (Virginia) 
artillery forming the column. Major "Wheat, with his battalion 
of " Tigers," was directed to keep close to the guns. Sturdy 
marchers, they trotted along with the horse and artillery at 
Jackson's heels, and after several hours were some distance in 
advance of the brigade, with which I remained. 

A volley in front, followed by wild cheers, stirred us up to 



THE VALLEY CAMPAIGN. 55 

a " double," and we speedily came upon a moving spectacle. 
Jackson had struck the Yalley pike at Middletown, twelve miles 
south of Winchester, along which a large body of Federal horse, 
with many wagons, was hastening north. He had attacked at 
once with his handful of men, overwhelmed resistance, and cap- 
tured prisoners and wagons. The gentle Tigers were looting 
right merrily, diving in and out of wagons with the activity of 
rabbits in a warren ; but this occupation was abandoned on my 
approach, and in a moment they were in line, looking as solemn 
and virtuous as deacons at a funeral. Prisoners and spoil were 
promptly secured. The horse was from New England, a section 
in which horsemanship was an unknown art, and some of the 
riders were strapped to their steeds. Ordered to dismount, they 
explained their condition, and were given time to unbuckle. 
Many breastplates and other protective devices were seen here, 
and later at Winchester. We did not know whether the Fed- 
erals had organized cuirassiers, or were recurring to the customs 
of Gustavus Adolphus. I saw a poor fellow lying dead on the 
pike, pierced through breastplate and body by a rifle ball. 
Iron-clad men are of small account before modern weapons. 

A part of the Federal column had passed north before Jack- 
son reached the pike, and this, with his mounted men, he pur- 
sued. Something more than a mile to the south a road left the 
pike and led directly west, where the Federal General Fremont, 
of whom we shall hear more, commanded " the Mountain De- 
partment." Attacked in front, as described, a body of Federals, 
horse, artillery, and infantry, with some wagons, took this road, 
and, after moving a short distance, drew up on a crest, with un- 
limbered guns. Their number was unknown, and for a moment 
they looked threatening. The brigade was rapidly formed and 
marched straight upon them, when their guns opened. A shell 
knocked over several men of the 7th regiment, and a second, as 
I rode forward to an eminence to get a view, struck the ground 
under my horse and exploded. The saddle cloth on both sides 
was torn away, and I and Adjutant Surget, who was just behind 
me, were nearly smothered with earth ; but neither man nor 
horse received a scratch. The enemy soon limbered up and 



56 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

fled west. By some well-directed shots, as they crossed a hill, 
our guns sent wagons flying in the air, with which " P. P. C. " 
we left them and marched north. 

At dusk we overtook Jackson, pushing the enemy with his 
little mounted force, himself in advance of all. I rode with 
him, and we kept on through the darkness. There was not re- 
sistance enough to deploy infantry. A flash, a report, and a 
whistling bullet from some covert met us, but there were few 
casualties. I quite remember thinking at the time that Jackson 
was invulnerable, and that persons near him shared that quality. 
An officer, riding hard, overtook us, who proved to be the chief 
quartermaster of the army. He reported the wagon trains far 
behind, impeded by a bad road in Luray Valley. " The ammu- 
nition wagons ? " sternly. " All right, sir. They were in ad- 
vance, and I doubled teams on them and brought them through." 
" Ah ! " in a tone of relief. 

To give countenance to this quartermaster, if such can be 
given of a dark night, I remarked jocosely : " Never mind the 
wagons. There are quantities of stores in "Winchester, and the , 
General has invited me to breakfast there to-morrow." 

Jackson, who had no more capacity for jests than a Scotch- 
man, took this seriously, and reached out to touch me on the 
arm. In fact, he was of Scotch-Irish descent, and his uncon- 
sciousness of jokes was de race. Without physical wants him- 
self, he forgot that others were differently constituted, and paid 
little heed to commissariat ; but woe to the man who failed to 
bring up ammunition ! In advance, his trains were left far be- 
hind. In retreat, he would fight for a wheelbarrow. 

Some time after midnight, by roads more direct from Front 
Uoyal, other troops came on the pike, and I halted my jaded 
people by the roadside, where they built fires and took a turn 
at their haversacks. 

Moving with the first light of morning, we came to Kerns- 
town, three miles from Winchester, and the place of Jackson's 
fight with Shields. Here heavy and sustained firing, artillery 
and small arms, was heard. A staff officer approached at full 
speed to summon me to Jackson's presence and move up my 



THE VALLEY CAMPAIGN". 57 

command. A gallop of a mile or more brought me to him. 
Winchester was in sight, a mile to the north. To the east 
Ewell with a large part of the army was fighting briskly and 
driving the enemy on to the town. On the west a high ridge, 
overlooking the country to the south and southeast, was occupied 
by a heavy mass of Federals with guns in position. Jackson 
was on the pike, and near him were several regiments lying 
down for shelter, as the fire from the ridge was heavy and 
searching. A Virginian battery, Rockbridge artillery, was 
fighting at a great disadvantage, and already much cut up. 
Poetic authority asserts that " Old Yirginny never tires," and 
the conduct of this battery justified the assertion of the muses. 
With scarce a leg or wheel for man and horse, gun or caisson, to 
stand on, it continued to hammer away at the crushing fire 
above. 

Jackson, impassive as ever, pointed to the ridge and said, 
" You must carry it." I replied that my command would be 
up by the time I could inspect the ground, and rode to the left 
for that purpose. A small stream, Abraham's creek, flowed 
from the west through the little vale at the southern base of the 
ridge, the ascent of which was steep, though nowhere abrupt. 
At one point a broad, shallow, trough-like depression broke the 
surface, which was further interrupted by some low copse, out- 
cropping stone, and two fences. On the summit the Federal 
lines were posted behind a stone wall, along a road coming west 
from the pike. Worn somewhat into the soil, this road served 
as a countersink and strengthened the position. Further west, 
there was a break in the ridge, which was occupied by a body 
of horse, the extreme right of the enemy's line. 

There was scarce time to mark these features before the head 
of my column appeared, when it was filed to the left, close to 
the base of the ridge, for protection from the plunging fire. 
Meanwhile, the Rockbridge battery held on manfully and en- 
gaged the enemy's attention. Riding on the flank of my col- 
umn, between it and the hostile line, I saw Jackson beside me. 
This was not the place for the commander of the army, and I 
ventured to tell him so ; but he paid no attention to the remark. 



58 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

We reached the shallow depression spoken of, where the enemy 
could depress his guns, and his fire became close and fatal. 
Many men fell, and the whistling of shot and shell occasioned 
much ducking of heads in the column. This annoyed me no 
little, as it was but child's play to the work immediately in hand. 
Always an admirer of delightful " Uncle Toby," I had contracted 
the most villainous habit of his beloved army in Flanders, and, 
forgetting Jackson's presence, ripped out, "What the h — are 
you dodging for ? If there is any more of it, you will be halted 
under this fire for an hour." The sharp tones of a familiar voice 
produced the desired effect, and the men looked as if they had 
swallowed ramrods ; but I shall never forget the reproachful 
surprise expressed in Jackson's face. He placed his hand on 
my shoulder, said in a gentle voice, " I am afraid you are a 
wicked fellow," turned, and rode back to the pike. 

The proper ground gained, the column faced to the front 
and began the ascent. At the moment the sun rose over the 
Blue Ridge, without cloud or mist to obscure his rays. It was 
a lovely Sabbath morning, the 25th of May, 1862. The clear, 
pure atmosphere brought the Blue Ridge and Alleghany and 
Massanutten almost overhead. Even the cloud of murderous 
smoke from the guns above made beautiful spirals in the air, 
and the broad fields of luxuriant wheat glistened with dew. It 
is remarkable how, in the midst of the most absorbing cares, 
one's attention may be fixed by some insignificant object, as 
mine was by the flight past the line of a bluebird, one of the 
brightest-plumaged of our feathered tribes, bearing a worm in 
his beak, breakfast for his callow brood. Birdie had been on 
the war path, and was carrying home spoil. 

As we mounted we came in full view of both armies, whose 
efforts in other quarters had been slackened to await the result 
of our movement. I felt an anxiety amounting to pain for the 
brigade to acquit itself handsomely ; and this feeling was shared 
by every man in it. About half way up, the enemy's horse 
from his right charged ; and to meet it, I directed Lieutenant- 
Colonel JSTicholls, whose regiment, the 8th, was on the left, to 
withhold slightly his two flank companies. By one volley, 



THE VALLEY CAMPAIGN. 59 

which emptied some saddles, Meholls drove off the horse, but 
■was soon after severely wounded. Progress was not stayed by 
this incident. Closing the many gaps made by the fierce fire, 
steadied the rather by it, and preserving an alignment that 
would have been creditable on parade, the brigade, with ca- 
denced step and eyes on the foe, swept grandly over copse and 
ledge and fence, to crown the heights from which the enemy 
had melted away. Loud cheers went up from our army, pro- 
longed to the east, where warm-hearted Ewell cheered himself 
hoarse, and led forward his men with renewed energy. In 
truth, it was a gallant feat of arms, worthy of the pen of him 
who immortalized the charge of the " Buffs " at Albuera. 

Breaking into column, we pursued closely. Jackson came 
up and grasped my hand, worth a thousand words from another, 
and we were soon in the streets of Winchester, a quaint old 
town of some five thousand inhabitants. There was a little 
fighting in the streets, but the people were all abroad — certainly 
all the women and babies. They were frantic with delight, 
only regretting that so many "Yankees" had escaped, and 
seriously impeded our movements. A buxom, comely dame of 
some five and thirty summers, with bright eyes and tight ankles, 
and conscious of these advantages, was especially demonstrative, 
exclaiming, " Oh ! you are too late — too late ! " Whereupon, 
a tall Creole from the Teche sprang from the ranks of the 8th 
regiment, just passing, clasped her in his arms, and imprinted 
a sounding kiss on her ripe lips, with " Madame ! je n'arrive 
jamais trop tard." A loud laugh followed, and the dame, with 
a rosy face but merry twinkle in her eye, escaped. 

Past the town, we could see the Federals flying north on 
the Harper's Ferry and Martinsburg roads. Cavalry, of which 
there was a considerable force with the army, might have reaped 
a rich harvest, but none came forward. Raised in the adjoin- 
ing region, our troopers were gossiping with their friends, or 
worse. Perhaps they thought that the war was over. Jackson 
joined me, and, in response to my question, "Where is the 
cavalry?" glowered and was silent. After .several miles, find- 
ing that we were doing no good — as indeed infantry, preserving 



60 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

its organization, cannot hope to overtake a flying enemy — I 
turned into the fields and camped. 

Here I will " say my say " abont Confederate cavalry ; and 
though there were exceptions to the following remarks, they 
were too few to qualify their general correctness. The difficulty 
of converting raw men into soldiers is enhanced manifold when 
they are mounted. Both man and horse require training, and 
facilities for rambling, with temptation so to do, are increased. 
There was but little time, and it may be said less disposition, to 
establish camps of instruction. Living on horseback, fearless 
and dashing, the men of the South afforded the best possible 
material for cavalry. They had every quality but discipline, 
and resembled Prince Charming, whose manifold gifts, be- 
stowed by her sisters, were rendered useless by the malignant 
fairy. Scores of them wandered about the country like locusts, 
and were only less destructive to their own people than the 
enemy. The universal devotion of Southern women to their 
cause led them to give indiscriminately to all wearing the gray. 
Cavalry officers naturally desired to have as large commands as 
possible, and were too much indulged in this desire. Brigades 
and regiments were permitted to do work appropriate to squad- 
rons and companies, and the cattle were unnecessarily broken 
down. Assuredly, our cavalry rendered much excellent service, 
especially when dismounted and fighting as infantry. Such able 
officers as Stuart, Hampton, and the younger Lees in the east, 
Forrest, Green, and Wheeler in the west, developed much talent 
for war ; but their achievements, however distinguished, fell far 
below the standard that would have been reached had not the 
want of discipline impaired their efforts and those of their men. 

After the camp was established, I rode back to "Winchester 
to look after my wounded and see my sister, the same who had 
nursed me the previous autumn. By a second marriage she was 
Mrs. Dandridge, and resided in the town. Her husband, Mr. 
Dandridge, was on duty at Richmond. Depot of all Federal 
forces in the Yalley, Winchester was filled with stores. Prison- 
ers, guns, and wagons, in large numbers, had fallen into our 
hands. Of especial value were ordnance and medical stores. 



THE VALLEY CAMPAIGN. 61 

The following day my command was moved ten miles north 
on the pike leading by Charlestown to Harper's Ferry, and 
after a day some miles east toward the Shenandoah. This was 
in consequence of the operations of the Federal General Shields, 
who, in command of a considerable force to the east of the Bine 
Ridge, passed Manassas Gap and drove from Front Royal a 
regiment of Georgians, left there by Jackson. Meanwhile, a 
part of the army was pushed forward to Martinsburg and be- 
yond, while another part threatened and shelled Harper's Ferry. 
Jackson himself was engaged in forwarding captured stores to 
Staunton. 

On Saturday, May 31, I received orders to move through 
Winchester, clear the town of stragglers, and continue to Stras- 
burg. Few or no stragglers were found in "Winchester, whence 
the sick and wounded, except extreme cases, had been taken. 
I stopped for a moment, at a house near the field of the 25th, 
to see Colonel Nicholls. He had suffered amputation of the 
arm that morning, and the surgeons forbade his removal ; so 
that, much to my regret and more to his own, he was left. We 
reached camp at Strasburg after dark, a march of thirty odd 
miles, weather very warm. Winder, with his brigade, came in 
later, after a longer march from the direction of Harper's Ferry. 
Jackson sat some time at my camp fire that night, and was more 
communicative than I remember him before or after. He said 
Fremont, with a large force, was three miles west of our present 
camp, and must be defeated in the morning. Shields was mov- 
ing up Luray Yalley, and might cross Massanutten to Newmar- 
ket, or continue south until he turned the mountain to fall on 
our trains near Harrisonburg. The importance of preserving 
the immense trains, filled with captured stores, was great, and 
would engage much of his personal attention ; while he relied 
on the army, under Ewell's direction, to deal promptly with 
Fremont. This he told in a low, gentle voice, and with many 
interruptions to afford time, as I thought and believe, for in- 
ward prayer. The men said that his anxiety about the wagons 
was because of the lemons among the stores. 

Dawn of the following day (Sunday) was ushered in by the 



62 DESTRUCTION" AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

sound of Fremont's guns. Our lines had been early drawn out 
to meet him, and skirmishers pushed up to the front to attack. 
Much cannonading, with some rattle of small arms, ensued. The 
country was densely wooded, and little save the smoke from the 
enemy's guns could be seen. My brigade was in reserve a short 
distance to the rear and out of the line of fire ; and here a ludi- 
crous incident occurred. Many slaves from Louisiana had ac- 
companied their masters to the war, and were a great nuisance 
on a march, foraging far and wide for " prog " for their owners' 
messes. To abate this, they had been put under discipline and 
made to march in rear of the regiments to which they pertained. 
They were now, some scores, assembled under a large tree, 
laughing, chattering, and cooking breakfast. On a sudden, a 
shell burst in the tree-top, rattling down leaves and branches 
in fine style, and the rapid decampment of the servitors was 
most amusing. But I must pause to give an account of my own 
servant, Tom Strother, who deserves honorable and affectionate 
mention at my hands, and serves to illustrate a phase of South- 
ern life now passed away. 

As under feudal institutions the arms of heiresses were quar- 
tered with those of the families into which they married, in the 
South their slaves adopted the surname of the mistress ; and one 
curious in genealogy could trace the descent and alliances of an 
old family by finding out the names used by different slaves on 
the estate. Those of the same name were a little clannish, pre- 
serving traditions of the family from which their fathers had 
come, and magnifying its importance. In childhood I often 
listened with credulous ears to wondrous tales of the magnifi- 
cence of my forefathers in Yirginia and Maryland, who, these 
imaginative Africans insisted, dwelt in palaces, surrounded by 
brave, handsome sons, lovely, virtuous daughters, and countless 
devoted servants. The characters of many Southern children 
were doubtless influenced by such tales, impressive from the 
good faith of the narrators. My paternal grandmother was 
Miss Sarah Strother of Yirginia, and from her estate came these 
Strother negroes. Tom, three years my senior, was my foster 
brother and early playmate. His uncle, Charles Porter Strother 



THE VALLEY CAMPAIGN. 63 

(to give him his full name), had been body servant to my grand- 
father, Colonel Richard Taylor, whom he attended in his last 
illness. He then filled the same office to my father, following 
him through his Indian and Mexican campaigns, and dying at 
"Washington a year before his master. Tom served in Florida 
and Mexico as " aide-de-camp " to his uncle, after which he mar- 
ried and became father of a large family. On this account I 
hesitated to bring him to Yirginia, but he would come, and was 
a model servant. Tall, powerful, black as ebony, he was a mir- 
ror of truth and honesty. Always cheerful, I never heard him 
laugh or knew of his speaking unless spoken to. He could 
light a fire in a minute under the most unfavorable conditions 
and with the most unpromising material, made the best coffee 
to be tasted outside of a Creole kitchen, was a " dab " at camp 
stews and roasts, groomed my horses (one of which he rode near 
me), washed my linen, and was never behind time. Occasion- 
ally, when camped near a house, he would obtain starch and flat- 
irons, and get up my extra shirt in a way to excite the envy of 
a professional clear-starcher ; but such red-letter days were few. 

I used to fancy that there was a mute sympathy between 
General Jackson and Tom, as they sat silent by a camp fire, the 
latter respectfully withdrawn ; and an incident here at Strasburg 
cemented this friendship. "When my command was called into 
action, I left Tom on a hill where all was quiet. Thereafter, 
from a change in the enemy's dispositions, the place became 
rather hot, and Jackson, passing by, advised Tom to move ; but 
he replied, if the General pleased, his master told him to stay 
there and would know where to find him, and he did not believe 
shells would trouble him. Two or three nights later, Jackson 
was at my fire when Tom came to give me some coffee ; where- 
upon Jackson rose and gravely shook him by the hand, and then 
told me the above. 

After the war was closed, Tom returned with me to New 
Orleans, found his wife and children all right, and is now pros- 
perous. My readers have had so much fighting lately, and are 
about to have so much more, as to render unnecessary an apol- 
ogy for introducing Tom's history. 



64 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

To return. Cannonading continued without much effect, 
and Ewell summoned me to his presence, directing the brigade 
to remain in position till further orders. Jackson, busy with 
his trains, was not at the moment on the field, which he visited 
several times during the day, though I did not happen to see 
him. To reach Ewell, it was necessary to pass under some 
heavy shelling, and I found myself open to the reproach visited 
previously on my men. "Whether from fatigue, loss of sleep, 
or what, there I was, nervous as a lady, ducking like a manda- 
rin. It was disgusting, and, hoping that no one saw me, I re- 
solved to take it out of myself the first opportunity. There is 
a story of Turenne, the greatest soldier of the Bourbons, which, 
if not true, is be?i trovato. Of a nervous temperament, his legs 
on the eve of an action trembled to such an extent as to make 
it difficult to mount his horse. Looking at them contemptuous- 
ly, he said : " If you could foresee the danger into which I am 
going to take you, you would tremble more." It was with a 
similar feeling, not only for my legs, but for my entire carcass, 
that I reached Ewell, and told him I was no more good than a 
frightened deer. He laughed, and replied : " Nonsense ! 'tis 
Tom's strong coffee. Better give it up. Remain here in charge 
while I go out to the skirmishers. I can't make out what these 
people are about, for my skirmish line has stopped them. They 
won't advance, but stay out there in the wood, making a great 
fuss with their guns ; and I do not wish to commit myself to 
much advance while Jackson is absent." With this, he put 
spurs to his horse and was off, and soon a brisk fusillade was 
heard, which seemed gradually to recede. During Ewell's ab- 
sence, surrounded by his staff, I contrived to sit my horse qui- 
etly. Returning, he said : " I am completely puzzled. I have 
just driven everything back to the main body, which is large. 
Dense wood everywhere. Jackson told me not to commit 
myself too far. At this rate my attentions are not likely to 
become serious enough to commit any one. I wish Jackson was 
here himself." I suggested that my brigade might be moved 
to the extreme right, near the Capon road, by which Fremont 
had marched, and attempt to strike that road, as this would ena- 



THE YALLEY CAMPAIGN. 65 

ble us to find out something. He replied : " Do so ; that may- 
stir them up, and I am sick of this fiddling about." Had 
Ewell been in command, he would have " pitched in " long be- 
fore ; but he was controlled by instructions not to be drawn too 
far from the pike. 

"We found the right of our line held by a Mississippi regi- 
ment, the colonel of which told me that he had advanced just 
before and driven the enemy. Several of his men were wounded, 
and he was bleeding profusely from a hit in his leg, which he 
was engaged in binding with a handkerchief, remarking that " it 
did not pester him much." Learning our purpose, he was eager 
to go in with us, and was not at all pleased to hear that I de- 
clined to change General E well's dispositions. A plucky fellow, 
this colonel, whose name, if ever known, I cannot recall. The 
brigade moved forward until the enemy was reached, when, 
wheeling to the left, it walked down his line. The expression 
is used advisedly, for it was nothing but a "walk-over." Sheep 
would have made as much resistance as we met. Men decamped 
without firing, or threw down their arms and surrendered, and 
it was so easy that I began to think of traps. At length we got 
under fire from our own skirmishers, and suffered some casual- 
ties, the only ones received in the movement. 

Our whole skirmish line was advancing briskly as the Fed- 
erals retired. I sought Ewell, and reported. "We had a fine 
game before us, and the temptation to play it was great ; but 
Jackson's orders were imperative and wise. He had his- stores 
to save, Shields to guard against, Lee's grand strategy to pro- 
mote ; and all this he accomplished, alarming "Washington, fast- 
ening McDowell's strong corps at Fredericksburg and prevent- 
ing its junction with McClellan, on whose right flank he sub- 
sequently threw himself at Cold Harbor. He could not waste 
time chasing Fremont, but we, who looked from a lower stand- 
point, grumbled and shared the men's opinion about the lemon 
wagons. 

The prisoners taken in our promenade were Germans, speak- 
ing no English ; and we had a similar experience a few days 
later. In the Federal Army was a German corps, the 11th,. 
5 



6Q DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION". 

commanded by General O. O. Howard, and called by both sides 
" the Flying Dutchmen." Since the time of Arminins the Ger- 
mans have been a brave people ; to-day, in military renown, 
they lead the van of the nations ; but they require a cause and 
leaders. In our Revolutionary struggle the Hessians were un- 
fortunate at Bennington, Saratoga, and Trenton. We have mil- 
lions of German citizens, and excellent citizens they are. Let 
us hope that the foregoing facts may be commended to them, 
so their ways may be ways of peace in their adopted land. 

Although the movement along the enemy's line was success- 
ful, as described, it was rash and foolish. Fremont had troops 
which, had they been in the place of these Germans, would have 
made us pass one of Rabelais's unpleasant quarters of an hour. 
Alarm and disgust at my own nervousness occasioned it, proving 
weak nerves to be the source of rash acts. 

Fremont made no further sign, and as the day declined the 
army was recalled to the pike and marched south. Jackson, in 
person, gave me instructions to draw up my brigade facing west, 
on some hills above the pike, and distant from it several hundred 
yards, where I was to remain. He said that the road was 
crowded, and he wanted time to clear it, that Fremont was safe 
for the night, and our cavalry toward Winchester reported Banks 
returned to that place from the Potomac, but not likely to move 
south before the following day ; then rode off, and so rapidly as 
to give me no time to inquire how long I was to remain, or if 
the cavalry would advise me in the event that Banks changed 
his purpose. This was near sunset, and by the time the com- 
mand was in position darkness fell upon us. No fires were al- 
lowed, and, stacking arms, the men rested, munching cold rations 
from their haversacks. It was their first opportunity for a bite 
since early morning. 

I threw myself on the ground, and tried in vain to sleep. 
USTo sound could be heard save the clattering of hoofs on the 
pike, which as the night wore on became constant. Hour after 
hour passed, when, thinking I heard firing to the north, I 
mounted and looked for the pike. The darkness was so intense 
that it could not have been found but for the white limestone. 



THE VALLEY CAMPAIGN. 67 

Some mounted men were passing, whom I halted to question. 
They said their command had gone on to rejoin the army, and, 
they supposed, had missed me in the dark; but there was a 
squadron behind, near the enemy's advance, which, a large cav- 
alry force, had moved from Winchester at an early period of 
the day and driven our people south. This was pleasant ; for 
Winder's brigade had marched several hours since, and a wide 
interval existed between us. 

More firing, near and distinct, was heard, and the command 
was ordered down to the pike, which it reached after much 
stumbling and swearing, and some confusion. Fortunately, the 
battery, Captain Bowyer, had been sent forward at dusk to get 
forage, and an orderly was dispatched to put it on the march. 
The 6th (Irish) regiment was in rear, and I took two companies 
for a rear guard. The column had scarce got into motion before 
a party of horse rushed through the guard, knocking down sev- 
eral men, one of whom was severely bruised. There was a little 
pistol-shooting and sabre-hacking, and for some minutes things 
were rather mixed. The enemy's cavalry had charged ours, and 
driven it on the infantry. One Federal was captured and his 
horse given to the bruised man, who congratulated the rider on 
his promotion to a respectable service. I dismounted, gave my 
horse to Tom to lead, and marched with the guard. From time 
to time the enemy would charge, but we could hear him coming 
and be ready. The guard would halt, about face, front rank 
with fixed bayonets kneel, rear rank fire, when, by the light of 
the flash, we could see emptied saddles. Our pursuers' fire was 
wild, passing over head ; so we had few casualties, and these 
slight ; but they were bold and enterprising, and well led, often 
charging close up to the bayonets. I remarked this, whereupon 
the Irishmen answered, " Devil thank 'em for that same." There 
was no danger on the flanks. The white of the pike alone guided 
us. Owls could not have found their way across the fields. The 
face of the country has been described as a succession of rolling 
swells, and later the enemy got up guns, but always fired from 
the summits, so that his shells passed far above us, exploding in 
the fields. Had the guns been trained low, with canister, it 



68 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

might have proved uncomfortable, for the pike ran straight to 
the south. " It was a fine night intirely for divarsion," said the 
Irishmen, with which sentiment I did not agree ; but they were 
as steady as clocks and chirpy as crickets, indulging in many a 
jest whenever the attentions of our friends in the rear were 
slackened. They had heard of Shields's proximity, and knew 
him to be an Irishman by birth, and that he had Irish regiments 
with him. During an interlude I was asked if it was not prob- 
able that we would encounter Shields, and answering affirma- 
tively, heard : " Them Germans is poor creatures, but Shields's 
boys will be after fighting." Expressing a belief that my " boys " 
could match Shields's any day, I received loud assurance from 
half a hundred Tipperary throats : " You may bet your life on 
that, sor." Thus we beguiled the weary hours. During the 
night I desired to relieve the guard, but was diverted from my 
purpose by scornful howls of "We are the boys to see it out." 
As Argyle's to the tartan, my heart has warmed to an Irishman 
since that night. 

Daylight came, and I tried to brace myself for hotter work, 
when a body of troops was reported in position to the south of 
my column. This proved to be Charles Winder with his (for- 
merly Jackson's own) brigade. An accomplished soldier and 
true brother-in-arms, he had heard the enemy's guns during the 
night, and, knowing me to be in rear, halted and formed line 
to await me. His men were fed and rested, and he insisted on 
taking my place in the rear. Passing through Winder's line, 
we moved slowly, with frequent halts, so as to remain near, the 
enemy pressing hard during the morning. The day was un- 
commonly hot, the sun like fire, and water scarce along the 
road ; and our men suffered greatly. 

Just after midday my brisk young aide, Hamilton, whom I 
had left with Winder to bring early intelligence, came to report 
that officer in trouble and want of assistance. My men were so 
jaded as to make me unwilling to retrace ground if it could be 
avoided ; so they were ordered to form line on the crest of the 
slope at hand, and I went to Winder, a mile to the rear. His 
brigade, renowned as the " Stonewall," was deployed on both 



THE VALLEY CAMPAIGN. 69 

sides of the pike, on which he had four guns. Large masses of 
cavalry, with guns and some sharp-shooters, were pressing him 
closely, while far to the north clouds of dust marked the ap- 
proach of troops. His line was on one of the many swells cross- 
ing the pike at right angles, and a gentle slope led to the next 
crest south, beyond which my brigade was forming. The prob- 
lem was to retire without giving the enemy, eager and persis- 
tent, an opportunity to charge. The situation looked so blue 
that I offered to move back my command ; but Winder thought 
he could pull through, and splendidly did he accomplish it. 
Regiment by regiment, gun by gun, the brigade was withdrawn, 
always checking the enemy, though boldly led. Winder, cool 
as a professor playing the new German game, directed every 
movement in person, and the men were worthy of him and of 
their first commander, Jackson. It was very close work in the 
vale before he reached the next crest, and heavy volleys were 
necessary to stay our plucky foes ; but, once there, my command 
showed so strong as to impress the enemy, who halted to re- 
connoiter, and the two brigades were united without further 
trouble. 

The position was good, my battery was at hand, and our 
men were so fatigued that we debated whether it was not more 
comfortable to fight than retreat. We could hold the ground 
for hours against cavalry, and night would probably come be- 
fore infantry got up, while retreat was certain to bring the 
cavalry on us. At this juncture up came General Turner Ash- 
by, followed by a considerable force of horse, with guns. This 
officer had been engaged in destroying bridges in Luray Valley, 
to prevent Shields from crossing that branch of the Shenandoah, 
and now came, much to our satisfaction, to take charge of the 
rear. He proceeded to pay his respects to our friends, and 
soon took them off our hands. We remained an hour to rest 
the men and give Ashby time to make his dispositions, then 
moved on. 

Before sunset heavy clouds gathered, and the intense heat 
was broken by a regular downpour, in the midst of which we 
crossed the bridge over the west branch of the Shenandoah — a 



70 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

large stream — at Mount Jackson, and camped. There was not 
a dry thread abont my person, and my boots would have fur- 
nished a respectable bath. Notwithstanding the flood, Tom 
soon had a fire, and was off to hunt forage for man and beast. 
Here we were less than ten miles from Newmarket, between 
which and this point the army was camped. Jackson was easy 
about Massanutten Gap. Shields must march south of the 
mountain to reach him, while the river, just crossed, was now 
impassable except by bridge. 

"We remained thirty-six hours in this camp, from the evening 
of the 2d until the morning of the 4th of June — a welcome rest 
to all. Two days of light marching carried us thence to Harri- 
sonburg, thirty miles. Here Jackson quitted the pike leading to 
Staunton, and took the road to Port Republic. This village, 
twelve miles southeast of Harrisonburg, lies at the base of the 
Blue Ridge, on the east bank of the Shenandoah. Several 
streams unite here to form the east (locally called south) branch 
of that river ; and here too was the only bridge from Front 
Royal south, all others having been destroyed by Ashby to pre- 
vent Shields from crossing. This commander was pushing a 
part of his force south, from Front Royal and Luray, on the 
east bank. 

The army passed the night of June 5 in camp three miles 
from Harrisonburg toward Port Republic. Ewell's division, 
which I had rejoined for the first time since we met Jackson, 
was in rear ; and the rear brigade was General George Stew- 
art's, composed of one Maryland and two Virginia regi- 
ments. My command was immediately in advance of Stewart's. 
Ashby had burnt the bridge at Mount Jackson to delay Fremont, 
and was camped with his horse in advance of Harrisonburg. 
The road to Port Republic was heavy from recent rains, causing 
much delay to trains, so that we did not move on the morning 
of the 6th. Early in the day Fremont, reenforced from Banks, 
got up ; and his cavalry, vigorously led, pushed Ashby through 
Harrisonburg, where a sharp action occurred, resulting in the 
capture of many Federals — among others, Colonel Percy "Wynd- 
ham, commanding brigade, whose meeting with Major "Wheat 



THE YALLEY CAMPAIGN. 71 

h«s been described. Later, while Ewell was conversing with. 
me, a message from Ashby took him to the rear. Federal cav- 
alry, supported by infantry, was advancing on Ashby. Stew- 
art's brigade was lying in a wood, under cover of which Ewell 
placed it in position. A severe straggle ensued; the enemy 
was driven, and many prisoners were taken. I had ridden back 
with Ewell, and so witnessed the affair, uncommonly spirited, 
and creditable to both sides. Colonel Kane of Philadelphia was 
among the prisoners and painfully wounded. Having known 
his father, Judge Kane, as well as his brother, the Arctic ex- 
plorer, I solicited and obtained from Jackson his parole. 

Colonel HichoUs, left wounded near "Winchester, had mar- 
ried a short time previous to the war, and his young wife now 
appeared, seeking to join her husband. Jackson referred her 
request to Ewell, who passed it to me. Of this I was informed 
by Captain Nickolls, 8th regiment, brother to the colonel, killed 
a few days after at Cold Harbor. Much cavalry skirmishing 
was still going on around Harrisonburg, dangerous for a lady to 
pass through ; and besides, she had come from Port Republic, 
seen our situation, and might be indiscreet. These considera- 
tions were stated to Captain Nicholls, but his sister-in-law in- 
sisted on seeing me. A small, fairy-like creature, plucky as a 
" Dandie Dinmont " terrier, and with a heart as big as Massa- 
nutten, she was seated in a nondescript trap, drawn by two 
mules, driven by a negro. One look from the great, tearful 
eyes made of me an abject coward, and I basely shuffled the 
refusal to let her pass on to Jackson. The Parthian glance of 
contempt that reached me through her tears showed that the 
lady understood and despised my paltering. Nicholls was 
speedily exchanged, became a general officer, lost a foot at 
Chancellorsville, and, after leading his people up out of captiv- 
ity, is now the conservative Governor of Louisiana. 

The skirmishing spoken of in the above connection devel- 
oped into severe work, in which General Ashby was killed. 
Alluding to his death in an official report, Jackson says, " As a 
partisan officer I never knew his superior." Like Claverhouse, 
" with a face that painters loved to limn and ladies look upon," 



72 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

lie was the most daring and accomplished rider in a region of 
horsemen. His courage was so brilliant as to elicit applause 
from friend and foe, bnt he was without capacity or disposition 
to enforce discipline on his men. I witnessed his deep chagrin 
at the conduct of our troopers after the enemy had been driven 
from "Winchester in May. With proper organization and disci- 
pline, his bold riders under his lead might have accomplished all 
that the lamented Nolan claimed as possible for light cavalry. 
Popular imagination, especially the female, is much in error as 
to these matters. Graceful young cavaliers, with flowing locks, 
leaping cannon to saber countless foes, make a captivating picture. 
In the language of Bosquet, "'Tis beautiful, but 'tis not war"; 
and grave mishaps have been occasioned by this misconception. 
Valor is as necessary now as ever in war, but disciplined, subor- 
dinated valor, admitting the courage and energies of all to be 
welded and directed to a common end. It is much to be de- 
sired that the ladies would consent to correct their opinions ; for, 
after all, their approval stimulates our best fighting. 

On the 7th of June we marched to a place within four 
miles of Port Kepublic, called Cross Keys, where several roads 
met. Near at hand was the meeting-house of a sect of German 
Quakers, Tunkers or Dunkards, as they are indifferently named. 
Here Jackson determined to await and fight Fremont, who fol- 
lowed him hard ; but as a part of Shields's force was now un- 
pleasantly near, he pushed on to Port Kepublic with Winder's 
and other infantry, and a battery, which camped on the hither 
bank of the river. Jackson himself, with his staff and a 
mounted escort, crossed the bridge and passed the night in the 
village. 

Ewell, in immediate charge at Cross Keys, was ready early 
in the morning of the 8th, when Fremont attacked. The 
ground was undulating, with much wood, and no extended view 
could be had. In my front the attack, if such it could be called, 
was feeble in the extreme — an affair of skirmishers, in which the 
enemy yielded to the slightest pressure. A staff officer of 
Jackson's, in hot haste, came with orders from his chief to 
march my brigade double-quick to Port Kepublic. Elzey's bri- 



THE YALLEY CAMPAIGN. 73 

gade, in second line to the rear, was asked to take my place and 
relieve my skirmishers ; then, advising the staff officer to notify 
Ewell, whom he had not seen, we started on the run, for such 
a message from Jackson meant business. Two of the inter- 
vening miles were quickly passed, when another officer appeared 
with orders to halt. In half an hour, during which the sound 
of battle at Cross Keys thickened, Jackson came. As before 
stated, he had passed the night in the village, with his staff and 
escort. Up as usual at dawn, he started alone to recross the 
bridge, leaving his people to follow. The bridge was a few 
yards below the last house in the village, and some mist over- 
hung the river. Under cover of this a small body of horse, 
with one gun, from Bhields's forces, had reached the east end 
of the bridge and trained the gun on it. Jackson was within 
an ace of capture. As he spurred across, the gun was fired on 
him, but without effect, and the sound brought up staff and 
escort, when Vhe horse retired north. This incident occasioned 
the order to me. After relating it (all save his own danger), 
Jackson passed on to Ewell. Thither I followed, to remain in 
reserve until the general forward movement in the afternoon, 
by which Fremont was driven back with loss of prisoners. We 
did not persist far, as Shields's force was near upon us. From 
Ewell I learned that there had been some pretty fighting in 
the morning, though less than might have been expected from 
Fremont's numbers. I know not if the presence of this com- 
mander had a benumbing influence on his troops, but certainly 
his advanced cavalry and infantry had proved bold and enter- 
prising. 

In the evening we moved to the river and camped. Win- 
der's and other brigades crossed the bridge, and during the 
night Ewell, with most of the army, drew near, leaving Trim- 
ble's brigade and the horse at Cross Keys. No one apprehended 
another advance by Fremont. The following morning, Sun- 
day, June 9, my command passed the bridge, moved several 
hundred yards down the road, and halted. Our trains had gone 
east over the Blue Ridge. The sun appeared above the moun- 
tain while the men were quietly breakfasting. Suddenly, from 



74 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

below, was heard the din of battle, loud and sustained, artillery 
and small arms. The men sprang into ranks, formed column, 
and marched, and I galloped forward a short mile to see the 
following scene : 

From the mountain, clothed to its base with undergrowth 
and timber, a level — clear, open, and smooth — extended to the 
river. This plain was some thousand yards in width. Half a 
mile north, a gorge, through which flowed a small stream, cut the 
mountain at a right angle. The northern shoulder of this gorge 
projected farther into the plain than the southern, and on an 
elevated plateau of the shoulder were placed six guns, sweeping 
every inch of the plain to the south. Federal lines, their right 
touching the river, were advancing steadily, with banners flying 
and arms gleaming in the sun. A gallant show, they came on. 
"Winder's and another brigade, with a battery, opposed them. 
This small force was suffering cruelly, and its skirmishers were 
driven in on their thin supporting line. As my Irishmen pre- 
dicted, "Shields's boys were after fighting." Below, Ewell 
was hurrying his men over the bridge, but it looked as if we 
should be doubled up on him ere he could cross and develop 
much strength. Jackson was on the road, a little in advance 
of his line, where the fire was hottest, with reins on his horse's 
neck, seemingly in prayer. Attracted by my approach, he said, 
in his usual voice, " Delightful excitement." I replied that it 
was pleasant to learn he was enjoying himself, but thought he 
might have an indigestion of such fun if the six-gun battery 
was not silenced. He summoned a young officer from his staff, 
and pointed up the mountain. The head of my approaching 
column was turned short up the slope, and speedily came to a 
path running parallel with the river. "We took this path, the 
guide leading the way. From him I learned that the plateau 
occupied by the battery had been used for a charcoal kiln, and 
the path we were following, made by the burners in hauling 
wood, came upon the gorge opposite the battery. Moving 
briskly, we reached the hither side a few yards from the guns. 
Infantry was posted near, and riflemen were in the undergrowth 
on the slope above. Our approach, masked by timber, was un- . 



THE VALLEY CAMPAIGN". 75 

expected. The battery was firing rapidly, enabled from eleva- 
tion to fire over the advancing lines. The head of my colnmn 
began to deploy under cover for attack, when the sonnds of bat- 
tle to our rear appeared to recede, and a loud Federal cheer was 
heard, proving Jackson to be hard pressed. It was rather an 
anxious moment, demanding instant action. Leaving a staff 
officer to direct my rear regiment — the 7th, Colonel Hays — to 
form in the wood as a reserve, I ordered the attack, though the 
deployment was not completed, and our rapid march by a nar- 
row path had occasioned some disorder. With a rush and shout 
the gorge was passed and we were in the battery. Surprise had 
aided us, but the enemy's infantry rallied in a moment and 
drove us out. "We returned, to be driven a second time. The 
riflemen on the slope worried us no little, and two companies 
of the 9th regiment were sent up the gorge to gain ground 
above and dislodge them, which was accomplished. The fight- 
ing in and around the battery was hand to hand, and many fell 
from bayonet wounds. Even the artillerymen used their ram- 
mers in a way not laid down in the Manual, and died at their 
guns. As Conan said to the devil, " 'Twas claw for claw." I 
called for Hays, but he, the promptest of men, and his splendid 
regiment, could not be found. Something unexpected had oc- 
curred, but there was no time for speculation. With a des- 
perate rally, in which I believe the drummer-boys shared, we 
carried the Battery for the third time, and held it. Infantry 
and riflemen had been driven off, and we began to feel a little 
comfortable, when the enemy, arrested in his advance by our 
attack, appeared. He had countermarched, and, with left near 
the river, came into full view of our situation. Wheeling to 
the right, with colors advanced, like a solid wall he marched 
straight upon us. There seemed nothing left but to set our 
backs to the mountain and die hard. At the instant, crashing 
through the underwood, came Ewell, outriding staff and escort. 
He produced the effect of a reenforcement, and was welcomed 
with cheers. The line before us halted and threw forward skir- 
mishers. A moment later, a shell came shrieking along it, loud 
Confederate cheers reached our delighted ears, and Jackson, 



76 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

freed from his toils, rushed up like a whirlwind, the enemy in 
rapid retreat. We turned the captured guns on them as thej 
passed, Ewell serving as a gunner. Though rapid, the retreat 
never became a rout. Fortune had refused her smiles, but 
Shields's brave " boys " preserved their organization and were 
formidable to the last ; and had Shields himself, with his whole 
command, been on the field, we should have had tough work 
indeed. 

Jackson came up, with intense light in his eyes, grasped my 
hand, and said the brigade should have the captured battery. 
I thought the men would go mad with cheering, especially the 
Irishmen. A huge fellow, with one eye closed and half his 
whiskers burned by powder, was riding cock-horse on a gun, 
and, catching my attention, yelled out, " We told you to bet on 
your boys." Their success against brother Patlanders seemed 
doubly welcome. Strange people, these Irish ! Fighting every 
one's battles, and cheerfully taking the hot end of the poker, 
they are only found wanting when engaged in what they believe 
to be their national cause. Excepting the defense of Limerick 
under brilliant Sarsfield, I recall no domestic struggle in which 
they have shown their worth. 

While Jackson pursued the enemy without much effect, as 
his cavalry, left in front of Fremont, could not get over till late, 
we attended to the wounded and performed the last offices to 
the dead, our own and the Federal. I have never seen so many 
dead and wounded in the same limited space. A large farm- 
house on the plain, opposite the mouth of the gorge, was con- 
verted into a hospital. Ere long my lost 7th regiment, sadly 
cut up, rejoined. This regiment was in rear of the column 
when we left Jackson to gain the path in the woods, and before 
it filed out of the road his thin line was so pressed that Jackson 
ordered Hays to stop the enemy's rush. This was done, for the 
7th would have stopped a herd of elephants, but at a fearful 
cost. Colonel Hays was severely wounded, among many others, , 
and the number of killed was large. Upon my promotion to 
Major-General, Hays succeeded to the command of the brigade, 
served through the war, returned to the practice of the law, and 



THE VALLEY CAMPAIGN. 77 

died in New Orleans. He was brother to Colonel Jack Hays, 
formerly of Texas, now of California, and shared much of the 
fighting ability of that renowned partisan. 

The young officer who guided us through the wood deserves 
mention, as he was one of the first to reach the battery, where 
he was killed. Lieutenant English, near Harper's Ferry, Vir- 
ginia, proved to be his name and place of birth. 

Many hours passed in discharge of sad duties to the wounded 
and dead, during which Fremont appeared on the opposite bank 
of the river and opened his guns ; but, observing doubtless our 
occupation, he ceased his fire, and after a short time withdrew. 
It may be added here that Jackson had caused such alarm at 
"Washington as to start Milroy, Banks, Fremont, and Shields 
toward that capital, and the great valley was cleared of the 
enemy. 

We passed the night high up the mountain, where we moved 
to reach our supply wagons. A cold rain was falling, and be- 
fore we found them every one was tired and famished. I 
rather took it out of the train-master for pushing so far up, 
although I had lunched comfortably from the haversack of a dead 
Federal. It is not pleasant to think of now, but war is a little 
hardening. 

On the 12th of June the army moved down to the river, above 
Port Eepublic, where the valley was wide, with many trees, and 
no enemy to worry or make us afraid. Here closed Jackson's 
wonderful Yalley campaign of 1862.* 

The Louisiana brigade marched from its camp near Conrad's 

* A part of the foregoing text was published in the number 
of the "North American Review" for March, 1878, under the 
title of " Stonewall Jackson and the Valley Campaign." In a 
kind and friendly letter, dated New York, March 21, General 
Shields corrects some misapprehensions into which I had fallen, 
more especially concerning his personal connection with the 
events described. I had been unable to procure a copy of General 
Shields's report, which, he informs me in the same letter, was sup- 
pressed by Secretary Stanton. 



78 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

store, to join Jackson at Newmarket, on the 21st of May. In 
twenty days it marched over two hundred miles, f ought in five 
actions, of which three were severe, and several skirmishes, and, 
though it had suffered heavy loss in officers and men, was yet 
strong, hard as nails, and full of confidence. I have felt it a 
duty to set forth the achievements of the brigade, than which 
no man ever led braver into action, in their proper light, be- 
cause such reputation as I gained in this campaign is to be 
ascribed to its excellence. 

For the first time since several weeks, friend Ewell and I 
had a chance to renew our talks ; but events soon parted us 
again. Subsequently he was wounded in the knee at the second 
battle of Manassas, and suffered amputation of the leg in con- 
sequence. His absence of mind nearly proved fatal. Forget- 
ting his condition, he suddenly started to walk, came down on 
the stump, imperfectly healed, and produced violent hsemor- 
rhage. 

About the close of the war he married Mrs. Brown, a widow, 
and daughter of Judge Campbell, a distinguished citizen of Ten- 
nessee, who had represented the United States at the court of 
St. Petersburg, where this lady was born. She was a kins- 
woman of Ewell, and said to have been his early love. He 
brought her to New Orleans in 1866, where I hastened to see 
him. He took me by the hand and presented me to " my wife, 
Mrs. Brown." How well I remember our chat ! How he talked 
of his plans and hopes and happiness, and of his great lot of 
books, which he was afraid he would never be able to read 
through. The while " my wife, Mrs. Brown," sat by, handsome 
as a picture, smiling on her General, as well she might, so noble 
a gentleman. A few short years, and both he and his wife 
passed away within an hour of each other ; but his last years 
were made happy by her companionship, and comfortable by 
the wealth she had brought him. Dear Dick Ewell ! Virginia 
never bred a truer gentleman, a braver soldier, nor an odder, 
more lovable fellow. 

On the second day in this camp General Winder came to me 
and said that he had asked leave to go to Richmond, been re- 



THE VALLEY CAMPAIGN. 79 

fused, and resigned. He commanded Jackson's old brigade, 
and was aggrieved by some unjust interference. Holding "Win* 
der in high esteem, I hoped to save him to the army, and went 
to Jackson, to whose magnanimity I appealed, and to arouse 
this dwelt on the rich harvest of glory he had reaped in his 
brilliant campaign. Observing him closely, I caught a glimpse 
of the man's inner nature. It was but a glimpse. The curtain 
closed, and he was absorbed in prayer. Yet in that moment I 
saw an ambition boundless as Cromwell's, and as merciless. 
This latter quality was exhibited in his treatment of General 
Richard G-arnett, cousin to Robert Garnett, before mentioned, 
and his codisciple at West Point. I have never met officer or 
soldier, present at Kernstown, who failed to condemn the harsh 
treatment of Garnett after that action. Richard Garnett was 
subsequently restored to command at my instance near Jackson, 
and fell on the field of Gettysburg. 

]STo reply was made to my effort for Winder, and I rose to 
take my leave, when Jackson said he would ride with me. We 
passed silently along the way to my camp, where he left me. 
That night a few lines came from Winder, to inform me that 
Jackson had called on him, and his resignation was withdrawn. 

Charles Winder was born in Maryland, graduated at West 
Point in 1850, embarked soon thereafter for California in charge 
of a detachment of recruits, was wrecked on the coast, and 
saved his men by his coolness and energy. He left the United 
States army to join the Confederacy, and was killed at Cedar 
Run some weeks after this period. Had he lived, he would 
have reached and adorned high position. 

And now a great weariness and depression fell upon me. I 
was threatened with a return of the illness experienced the pre- 
vious autumn. For many weeks I had received no intelligence 
from my family. ISTew Orleans had fallen, and my wife and 
children resided there or on an estate near the city. I hoped 
to learn of them at Richmond ; change might benefit health, 
and matters were quiet in the Yalley. Accordingly, a short 
leave was asked for and granted ; and although I returned within 
three days to join my command on the march to Cold Harbor, 



80 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

we were absorbed in the larger army operating against MeClel- 
lan, and I saw bnt little of Jackson. 

I have written that he was ambitious ; and his ambition was 
Vast, all-absorbing. Like the unhappy wretch from whose shoul- 
ders sprang the foul serpent, he loathed it, perhaps feared it ; 
but he could not escape it— it was himself — nor rend it — it was 
his own flesh. He fought it with prayer, constant and earnest — 
Apollyon and Christian in ceaseless combat. What limit to set 
to his ability I know not, for he was ever superior to occasion. 
Under ordinary circumstances it was difficult to estimate him 
because of his peculiarities — peculiarities that would have made 
a lesser man absurd, but that served to enhance his martial fame, 
as those of Samuel Johnson did his literary eminence. He 
once observed, in reply to an allusion to his severe marching, 
that it was better to lose one man in marching than five in fight- 
ing ; and, acting on this, he invariably surprised the enemy — 
Milroy at McDowell, Banks and Fremont in the Valley, 
McClellan's right at Cold Harbor, Pope at second Manassas. 

Fortunate in his death, he fell at the summit of glory, before 
the .sun of the Confederacy had set, ere defeat, and suffering, 
and selfishness could turn their fangs upon him. As one man, 
the South wept for him ; foreign nations shared the grief ; even 
Federals praised him. "With "Wolfe and Nelson and Havelock, 
he took his place in the hearts of English-speaking peoples. 

In the first years of this century, a great battle was fought 
on the plains of the Danube. A determined charge on the 
Austrian center gained the victory for France. The courage 
and example of a private soldier, who there fell, contributed 
much to the success of the charge. Ever after, at the parades 
of his battalion, - the name of Latour d'Auvergne was first called,, 
when the oldest sergeant stepped to the front and answered,, 
" Died on the field of honor." In Valhalla, beyond the grave, 
where spirits of warriors assemble, when on the roll of heroes 
the name of Jackson is reached, it will be for the majestic shade 
of Lee to pronounce the highest eulogy known to our race — 
" Died on the field of duty." 

I reached Eichmond, by Charlottesville and Lynchburg, the 



THE VALLEY CAMPAIGN. 81 

day after leaving camp, and went to the war office, where I 
found letters from my family. My wife and children had. left 
New Orleans on a steamer just as Farragut's fleet arrived, and 
were on the Atchafalaya River with friends, all well. "While 
reading my letters, an acquaintance in high position in the office 
greeted me, hut went on to say, if I knew what was afoot, my 
stay in Richmond would be short. Taking the hint, and feel- 
ing improved in health in consequence of relief from anxiety 
about my family, I returned to the station at once, and took 
rail to Charlottesville. Arrived there, I met the Yalley army 
in march to the southeast, and joined my command. 

That night we cajnped between Charlottesville and Gordons- 
ville, in Orange County, the birthplace of my father. A dis- 
tant kinsman, whom I had never met, came to invite me to his 
house in the neighborhood. Learning that I always slept in 
camp, he seemed so much distressed as to get my consent to 
breakfast with him, if he would engage to have breakfast at 
the barbarous hour of sunrise. His house was a little distant 
from the road ; so, the following morning, he sent a mounted 
groom to show the way. My aide, young Hamilton, accompa- 
nied me, and Tom of course followed. It was a fine old man- 
sion, surrounded by well-kept grounds. This immediate region 
had not yet been touched by war. Flowering plants and rose 
trees, in full bloom, attested the glorious wealth of June. On 
the broad portico, to welcome us, stood the host, with his fresh, 
charming wife, and, a little retired, a white-headed butler. 
Greetings over with host and lady, this delightful creature, with 
ebon face beaming hospitality, advanced, holding a salver, on 
which rested a huge silver goblet filled with Virginia's nectar, 
mint julep. Quantities of cracked ice rattled refreshingly in the 
goblet ; sprigs of fragant mint peered above its broad rim ; a 
mass of white sugar, too sweetly indolent to melt, rested on the 
mint ; and, like rose buds on a snow bank, luscious strawberries 
crowned the sugar. Ah ! that julep ! Mars ne'er received such 
tipple from the hands of Ganymede. Breakfast was announced, 
and what a breakfast ! A beautiful service, snowy table cloth, 
damask napkins, long unknown ; above all, a lovely woman in 
6 



82 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION 

crisp gown, with more and handsomer roses on her cheek than 
in her garden. 'Twas an idyl in the midst of the stern reali- 
ties of war ! The table groaned beneath its viands. Sable ser- 
vitors brought in, hot and hot from the kitchen, cakes of won- 
drous forms, inventions of the tropical imagination of Africa, 
inflamed by Yirginian hospitality. I was rather a moderate 
trencherman, but the performance of Hamilton was Gargan- 
tuan, alarming. Duty dragged us from this Eden ; yet in hur- 
ried adieus I did not forget to claim of the fair hostess the 
privilege of a cousin. I watched Hamilton narrowly for a time. 
The youth wore a sodden, apoplectic look, quite out of his 
usual brisk form. A gallop of some miles put him right, but 
for many days he dilated on the breakfast with the gusto of one 
of Hannibal's veterans on the delights of Capua. 



CHAPTER VI. 

"THE SEVEN" DAYS ABOUND RICHMOND." 

Leaving Gordonsville, we proceeded in a southeasterly di- 
rection, passing Louisa Court House and Frederickshall, and 
camped at Ashland on the Fredericksburg Railway, twelve miles 
north of Richmond, on the evening of the 25th of June. To 
deceive the enemy, General Lee had sent to the Valley a con- 
siderable force under Generals Whiting, Hood, and Lawton. 
The movement was openly made and speedily known at Wash- 
ington, where it produced the desired impression, that Jackson 
would invade Maryland from the Valley. These troops reached 
Staunton by rail on the 17th, and, without leaving the train, 
turned back to Gordonsville, where they united with Jackson. 
The line from Gordonsville to Frederickshall, south of which 
point it had been interrupted, was used to facilitate our move- 
ment, but this was slow and uncertain. The advance frequently 
halted or changed direction. We were pushing between Mc- 
Dowell and McClellan's right, over ground recently occupied 
by the enemy. Bridges had been destroyed, and, to conceal 
the movement, no guides were trusted — an over-caution occa- 
sioning delay. 

During the day and night of the 25th I suffered from severe 
pains in the head and loins, and on the morning of the 26th 
found it impossible to mount my horse ; so the brigade marched 
under the senior colonel, Seymour, 6th regiment. A small am- 
bulance was left with me, and my staff was directed to accom- 
pany Seymour and send back word if an engagement was im- 
minent. Several messages came during the day, the last after 
nightfall, reporting the command to be camped near Pole Green 



84 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

Church, beyond the Chickahoniiny ; so far, no fighting. Lying 
on the floor of a vacant house at Ashland, I had scarce con- 
sciousness to comprehend these messages. Pains in head and 
back continued, with loss of power to move my limbs. 

Toward daylight of the 27th sleep came from exhaustion, 
and lasted some hours. From this I was aroused by sounds of 
artillery, loud and constant, brought by the easterly wind. Tom 
raised me into a sitting posture, and administered a cup of strong 
coffee. The sound of battle continued until it became unen- 
durable, and I was put into the ambulance by Tom and the 
driver, the former following with the horses. "We took the 
route by which the troops had marched, the din of conflict in- 
creasing with every mile, the rattle of small arms mingling with 
the thud of guns. After weary hours of rough road, every jolt 
on which threatened to destroy my remaining vitality, we ap- 
proached Cold Harbor and met numbers of wounded. Among 
these was General Ekey, with a dreadful wound in the head 
and face. His aide was taking him to the rear in an ambulance, 
and, recognizing Tom, stopped a moment to tell of the fight. 
Ewell's division, to which Elzey and I belonged, had just been 
engaged with heavy loss. This was too much for any illness, 
and I managed somehow to struggle on to my horse and get 
into the action. 

It was a wild scene. Battle was raging furiously. Shot, 
shell, and ball exploded and whistled. Hundreds of wounded 
were being carried off, while the ground was strewn with dead. 
Dense thickets of small pines covered much of the field, further 
obscured by clouds of smoke. The first troops encountered 
were D. H. Hill's, and, making way through these, I came upon 
Winder's, moving across the front from right to left. Then 
succeeded Elzey's of Ewell's division, and, across the road leading 
to Gaines's Mill, my own. Mangled and bleeding, as were all 
of Ewell's, it was holding the ground it had won close to the 
enemy's line, but unable to advance. The sun was setting as I 
joined, and at the moment cheers came up from our left, raised 
by Winder's command, which had turned and was sweeping 
the Eederal right, while Lawton's Georgians, fresh and eager, 



- "THE SEVEN" DAYS AROUND RICHMOND." 85 

attacked in our front. The enemy gave way, and, under cover 
of the night, retired over the Chickahominy. Firing continued 
for two hours, though darkness concealed everything. 

The loss in my command was distressing. Wheat, of whom 
I have written, was gone, and Seymour, and many others. I 
had a wretched feeling of guilt, especially about Seymour, who 
led the brigade and died in my place. Colonel Seymour was 
bom in Georgia, but had long resided in ISTew Orleans, where 
he edited the leading commercial paper — a man of culture, re- 
spected of all. In early life he had served in Indian and Mex- 
ican wars, and his high spirit brought him to this, though past 
middle age. Brave old Seymour ! I can see him now, mount- 
ing the hill at Winchester, on foot, with sword and cap in hand, 
his thin gray locks streaming, turning to his sturdy Irishmen 
with " Steady, men ! dress to the right ! " Georgia has been 
fertile of worthies, but will produce none more deserving than 
Colonel Seymour. 

The following morning, while looking to the burial of the 
dead and care of the wounded, I had an opportunity of examin- 
ing the field of battle. The campaign around Richmond is too 
well known to justify me in entering into details, and I shall 
confine myself to events within my own experience, only en- 
larging on such general features as are necessary to explain 
criticism. 

The Chickahominy, a sluggish stream and subject to floods, 
flows through a low, marshy bottom, draining the country be- 
tween the Pamunky or York and James Rivers, into which last 
it discharges many miles below Richmond. The upper portion 
of its course from the crossing of the Central Railroad, six miles 
north of Richmond, to Long Bridge, some three times that dis- 
tance to the southeast, is parallel with both the above-mentioned 
rivers. The bridges with which we were concerned at and after 
Cold Harbor were the Federal military bridges, Grapevine, 
York River Railroad, Bottom's, and Long, the lowermost ; after 
which the stream, affected by tide, spread over a marshy coun- 
try. The upper or Grapevine Bridge was on the road leading 
due south from Cold Harbor, and, passing Savage's Station on 



86 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

York River Railroad, united with the Williamsburg road, which 
ran east from Richmond to Bottom's Bridge. A branch from 
this "Williamsburg road continued on the south bank of the 
Chickahominy to Long Bridge, where it joined the Charles City, 
Darbytown, and Newmarket roads coming south-southeast from 
Richmond. Many other roads, with no names or confusing ones, 
crossed this region, which was densely wooded and intersected 
by sluggish streams, draining the marshes into both the Chicka- 
hominy and James. We came upon two of these country 
roads leading in quite different directions, but bearing the same 
name, Grapevine ; and it will astound advocates of phonics to 
learn that the name of Darby (whence Darbytown) was thus 
pronounced, while it was spelt and written Enroughty. A Ger- 
man philologist might have discovered, unaided, the connection 
between the sound and the letters ; but it would hardly have 
occurred to mortals of less erudition. 

At the beginning of operations in this Richmond campaign, 
Lee had seventy-five thousand men, McClellan one hundred 
thousand. Round numbers are here given, but they are taken 
from official sources. A high opinion has been expressed of 
the strategy of Lee, by which Jackson's forces from the Yal- 
ley were suddenly thrust between McDowell and McClellan's 
right, and it deserves all praise ; but the tactics on the field were 
vastly inferior to the strategy. Indeed, it may be confidently 
asserted that from Cold Harbor to Malvern Hill, inclusive, 
there was nothing but a series of blunders, one after another, 
and all huge. The Confederate commanders knew no more 
about the topography of the country than they did about Cen- 
tral Africa. Here was a limited district, the whole of it within 
a day's march of the city of Richmond, capital of Virginia 
and the Confederacy, almost the first spot on the continent oc- 
cupied by the British race, the Chickahominy itself classic by 
legends of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas; and yet we 
were profoundly ignorant of the country, were without maps, 
sketches, or proper guides, and nearly as helpless as if we had 
been suddenly transferred to the banks of the Lualaba. The 
day before the battle of Malvern Hill, President Davis could not 



"THE SEVEN" DAYS AROUND RICHMOND." 87 

find a guide with intelligence enough to show him the way from 
one of our columns to another ; and this fact I have from him. 
People find a small cable in the middle of the ocean, a thousand 
fathoms below the surface. For two days we lost McClellan's 
great army in a few miles of woodland, and never had any defi- 
nite knowledge of its movements. Let it be remembered, too, 
that McClellan had opened the peninsular campaign weeks be- 
fore, indicating this very region to be the necessary theatre of 
conflict ; that the Confederate commander (up to the time of his 
wound at Fair Oaks), General Johnston, had been a topographi- 
cal engineer in the United States army ; while his successor, 
General Lee — another engineer — had been on duty at the war 
office in Kichmond and in constant intercourse with President 
Davis, who was educated at "West Point and served seven years ; 
and then think of our ignorance in a military sense of the ground 
over which we were called to fight. Every one must agree that 
it was amazing. Even now, I can scarcely realize it. McClel- 
lan was as superior to us in knowledge of our own land as were 
the Germans to the French in their late war, and owed the suc- 
cess of his retreat to it, although credit must be given to his abil- 
ity. "We had much praying at various headquarters, and large 
reliance on special providences ; but none were vouchsafed, by 
pillar of cloud or fire, to supplement our ignorance ; so we blun- 
dered on like people trying to read without knowledge of their 
letters. 

To return to the field of Cold Harbor, the morning (Satur- 
day) after the battle. McClellan had chosen an excellent posi- 
tion, covering his military bridges over the Chickahominy. His 
left, resting on the river, and his center were covered by a small 
stream, one of its affluents, boggy and of difficult passage. His 
right was on high ground, near Cold Harbor, in a dense thicket 
of pine-scrub, with artillery massed. This position, three miles 
in extent, and enfiladed in front by heavy guns on the south 
bank of the Chickahominy, was held by three lines of infantry, 
one above the other on the rising ground, which was crowned- 
with numerous batteries, concealed by timber. McClellan re- 
ported thirty-six thousand men present, including Sykes's and, 



88 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

Porter's regulars ; but reenf orcements brought over during the 
action probably increased this number to fifty thousa'nd. Lee 
had forty thousand on the field. 

Longstreet attacked on our right, near the river, A. P. Hill 
on his left. Jackson approached Cold Harbor from the north, 
his divisions in column on one road as follows : Ewell's, Whiting's, 
Lawton's (Georgians), and Winder's. At Cold Harbor Jackson 
united with the division of D. H. Hill, in advance of him, and 
directed it to find and attack the enemy's right. His own divi- 
sions, in the order above named, were to come up on D. H. Hill's 
right and connect it with A. P. Hill's left. Artillery was only 
employed by the Confederates late in the day, and on their ex- 
treme left. 

D. H. Hill and Ewell were speedily engaged, and suffered 
heavily, as did A. P. Hill and Longstreet, all attacking in front. 
Ignorance of the ground, densely wooded, and want of guides 
occasioned confusion and delay in the divisions to Ewell's rear. 
Lawton came to Ewell's support, "Whiting to A. P. Hill's ; while 
of the three brigades of the last division, the second went to 
Longstreet's right, the third to A. P. Hill's center, and the first 
was taken by Winder, with a fine soldierly instinct, from right 
to left, across the battle, to reenf orce D. H. Hill and turn the 
Federal position. This movement was decisive, and if executed 
earlier would have saved loss of men and time. So much for 
fighting on unknown ground. 

During the day of Saturday, McClellan remained on the 
south bank of the Chickahominy with guns in position guard- 
ing his bridges ; and the only movement made by Lee was to 
send Stuart's cavalry east to the river terminus of the York 
Railway, and Ewell's division to the bridge of that line over 
the Chickahominy and to Bottom's, a short distance below. 
Late in the evening General Lee informed me that I would re- 
main the following day to guard Bottom's and the railway 
bridges, while Stuart's cavalry watched the river below to Long 
Bridge and beyond. From all indications, he thought that 
McClellan would withdraw during the night, and expected to 
cross the river in the morning to unite with Magruder and 



"THE SEVEN DAYS AROUND RICHMOND." 89 

Huger in pursuit. Holmes's division was to be brought from 
the south' side of the James to bar the enemy's road ; and he 
expressed some confidence that his dispositions would inflict 
serious loss on McClellan's army, if he could receive prompt 
and accurate information of that General's movements. Mean- 
time, I would remain until the following (Sunday) evening, 
unless sooner convinced of the enemy's designs, when I would 
cross Grapevine Bridge and follow Jackson. It is to be pre- 
sumed that General Lee disclosed so much of his plans to his 
subordinates as he deemed necessary to insure their intelligent 
execution. 

The morning light showed that the Federals had destroyed 
a part of the railway bridge near the center of the stream. 
We were opposite to Savage's Station (on the line toward Rich- 
mond), from which distinct sounds reached us, but dense forest 
limited vision to the margin of the river. Smoke rising above 
the trees, and explosions, indicated the destruction of stores. 
In the afternoon, a great noise of battle came — artillery, small 
arms, shouts. This, as we afterward learned, was Magruder's 
engagement at Savage's Station, but this din of combat was si- 
lenced to our ears by the following incident : A train was heard 
approaching from Savage's. Gathering speed, it came rushing 
on, and quickly emerged from the forest, two engines drawing 
a long string of carriages. Reaching the bridge, the engines 
exploded with terrific noise, followed in succession by explo- 
sions of the carriages, laden with ammunition. Shells burst in 
all directions, the river was lashed into foam, trees were torn 
for acres around, and several of my men were wounded. The 
enemy had taken this means of destroying surplus ammunition. 

After this queer action had ceased, as sunset was approach- 
ing, and all quiet at Bottom's Bridge, we moved up stream and 
crossed Grapevine Bridge, repaired by Jackson earlier in the 
day. Darkness fell as we bivouacked on the low ground south 
of the river. A heavy rain came down, converting the ground 
into a lake, in the midst of which a half -drowned courier, with 
a dispatch, was brought to me. With difficulty, underneath an 
ambulance, a light was struck to read the dispatch, which 



90 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

proved to be from Magruder, asking for reinforcements in front 
of Savage's Station, where he was then engaged. Several hours 
had elapsed since the courier left Magruder, and he could tell 
nothing beyond the fact of the engagement, the noise of which 
we had heard. It must be borne in mind that, during the oper- 
ations north of the Chickahominy, the divisions of Magruder 
and Huger had remained in position between McClellan's left 
and Richmond. 

In the night the enemy disappeared from Savage's, near 
which we passed the following (Monday) morning, in march to 
rejoin Jackson. "We encountered troops of Magruder's, Hu- 
ger's, and other divisions, seeking to find their proper routes. 
Countless questions about roads were asked in vain. At length, 
we discovered that Jackson had followed the one nearest the 
Chickahominy, and about noon overtook the rear of his column, 
halted in the road. Artillery could be heard in front, and a 
staff officer was sent to find out the meaning of it. 

Enfeebled by pain, I used an ambulance to husband my lit- 
tle strength for emergencies; and I think it was here that 
General Wade Hampton, accompanied by Senator Wigfall, 
came up to me. Hampton had been promoted to brigadier for 
gallantry at Manassas, where he was wounded, but not yet as- 
signed to a command. Wigfall had left the army to take a 
seat in the Confederate Congress as Senator from Texas, and 
from him I learned that he was in hopes some brigadier would 
be killed to make a place for Hampton, to whom, as volunteer 
aide, he proposed to attach himself and see the fun. Finding 
me extended in an ambulance, he doubtless thought he had met 
his opportunity, and felt aggrieved that I was not in extremis. 
Hampton took command of a brigade in Jackson's old division 
the next day, and perhaps his friend "Wigfall enjoyed himself 
at Malvern Hill. 

The staff officer returned from the front and reported the 
situation. D. H. Hill's division was at White Oak Swamp Creek, 
a slough, and one of " despond " to us, draining to the Chicka- 
hominy. The enemy held the high ground beyond, and artil- 
lery fire was continuous, but no infantry was engaged. There 



"THE SEVEN DAYS AROUND RICHMOND." 91 

was no change until nightfall, when we bivouacked where we 
were. Our loss, one artilleryman mortally wounded, proved 
that no serious effort to pass the slough was made ; yet a prize 
was in reach worth the loss of thousands. "While we were idly 
shelling the wood, behind which lay Franklin's corps — the right 
of McClellan's army — scarce a rifle shot to the southwest, but 
concealed by intervening forest, Longstreet and A. P. Hill were 
fighting the bloody engagement of Frazier's Farm with Heintzel- 
man and McCall, the Federal center and left. Again, fractions 
against masses; for of the two divisions expected to support 
them, Magruder's and Huger's, the latter did not get up, and 
the former was taken off by a misleading message from Holmes, 
who, from the south bank of the James, had reached the New- 
market road a day later than was intended. Longstreet and 
Hill fought into the night, held a large part of the field, and 
captured many prisoners, (including General McCall) and guns, 
but their own loss was severe. After the action, Franklin 
quietly passed within a few yards of them, joined Heintzel- 
man, and with him gained Malvern Hill, which McClellan had 
fortified during the day, employing for the purpose the com- 
mands of Keyes and Porter. 

On the succeeding morning (July 1), Jackson followed the 
enemy's track from "White Oak Swamp Creek toward Malvern 
Hill, passing the field of Frazier's Farm, and Magruder's division, 
which had arrived in the night and relieved the exhausted com- 
mands of Longstreet and Hill. 

Malvern Hill was a desperate position to attack in front, 
though, like Cold Harbor, it could be turned on the right. 
Here McClellan was posted with his whole force. His right 
was covered by Turkey Creek, an affluent of the James ; his left 
was near that river and protected by gunboats, which, though 
hidden by timber, threw shells across his entire front. Distance 
and uncertainty of aim saved us from much loss by these pro- 
jectiles, but their shriek and elongated form astonished our land- 
ward men, who called them lamp posts. By its height, Malvern 
Hill dominated the ground to the north, the James River, and 
the Newmarket road on which we approached, and was crowned 



92 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

with a numerous and heavy artillery. On our side, from inferior 
elevation, artillery labored under a great disadvantage, and was 
brought into action in detail to be overpowered. 

The left attack was assigned to Jackson, the right to Ma- 
gruder, supported by Huger and Holmes — Longstreet and A. P. 
Hill in reserve. Jackson's dispositions were as follows : On the 
extreme left, the division of Whiting, then artillery supported 
by a brigade under Wade Hampton, my brigade, and on my 
right the division of D. H. Hill. In reserve were the remainder 
of Ewell's division and the brigades of Winder, Lawton, and 
Cunningham. It was perhaps 3 o'clock of the afternoon before 
these dispositions were completed. 

As it was General Lee's intention to open from his right, 
Magruder was waited for, who, following Jackson on the road, 
was necessarily later in getting into position. Orders were for 
Hill to attack with the bayonet as soon as he heard the cheers 
of Magruder's charge. To be ready, Hill advanced over open 
ground to some timber within four hundred yards of the ene- 
my's line, but suffered in doing so. Artillery sent to his sup- 
port was crippled and driven off. It was 5 o'clock or after when 
a loud shout and some firing were heard on the right, and, sup- 
posing this to be Magruder's attack, Hill led his men to the 
charge. He carried the first line of the enemy, who, unoccu- 
pied elsewhere, reenf orced at once, and Hill was beaten off with 
severe loss. The brigades of Trimble, Lawton, Winder, and Cun- 
ningham were sent to his assistance, but could accomplish nothing 
beyond holding the ground. About sunset, after Hill's attack 
had failed, Magruder got into position and led on his men with 
similar fortune. Like Hill, he and his troops displayed superb 
courage and suffered enormously ; but it was not to be ; such 
partial attacks were without the first element of success. My 
brigade was not moved from its position, but experienced some 
loss by artillery. 

After the action, Stuart arrived from the north side of the 
Chickahominy, where he had been since Cold Harbor. Had he 
been brought over the Long Bridge two days earlier, McClellan's 
huge trains on the Charles City road would have fallen an easy 



"THE SEVEN" DAYS ABOUND KICHMOND." 93 

prey to his cavalry, and he could have blocked the roads through 
the forest. 

McClellau's guns continued firing long after nightfall, but 
the ensuing morning found him and his army at Harrison's 
Landing, in an impregnable position. Here ended the cam- 
paign around Richmond. 

The strategy displayed on the Confederate side was magnifi- 
cent, and gave opportunity for resplendent success; but this 
opportunity was lost by tactical mistakes, occasioned by want of 
knowledge of the theatre of action, and it is to be feared that 
Time, when he renders his verdict, will declare the gallant dead 
who fell at Gaines's Mill, Cold Harbor, Frazier's Farm, and Mal- 
vern Hill, to have been sacrificed on the altar of the bloodiest 
of all Molochs — Ignorance. 

The crisis of my illness now came in a paralysis of the lower 
limbs, and I was taken to Eichmond, where I learned of my 
promotion to major-general, on the recommendation of Jack- 
son, for services in the Yalley, and assignment to a distant 
field. 

Having expressed an opinion of McClellan as an organizer 
of armies, I will now treat of his conduct as a commander in 
this and his subsequent campaign. His first operations on the 
peninsula were marked by a slowness and hesitancy to be ex- 
pected of an engineer, with small experience in handling troops. 
His opponent, General Magruder, was a man of singular versa- 
tility. Of a boiling, headlong courage, he was too excitable for 
high command. Widely known for social attractions, he had a 
histrionic vein, and indeed was fond of private theatricals. Few 
managers could have surpassed him in imposing on an audience 
a score of supernumeraries for a grand army. Accordingly, 
with scarce a tenth the force, he made McClellan reconnoiter 
and deploy with all the caution of old Melas, till Johnston came 
up. It is true that McClellan steadily improved, and gained 
confidence in himself and his army ; yet he seemed to regard 
the latter as a parent does a child, and, like the first Frederick 
William's gigantic grenadiers, too precious for gunpowder. 



94 DESTRUCTION AND. RECONSTRUCTION. 

His position in front of Richmond, necessitated by the es- 
tablishment of his base on York River, was vicious, because his 
army was separated by the Chickahominy, a stream subject to 
heavy floods, which swept away bridges and made the adjacent 
lowlands impassable. Attacked at Fair Oaks while the river 
was in flood, he displayed energy, but owed the escape of his 
two exposed corps to Johnston's wound and the subsequent blun- 
ders of the Confederates. To operate against Richmond on the 
north bank of the James, his proper plan was to clear that river 
and rest his left upon it, or to make the Potomac and Rappa- 
hannock his base, as the line of rail from Aquia and Fredericks- 
burg was but little longer than the York River line. This, 
keeping him more directly between the Confederate army and 
Washington, would have given him McDowell's corps, the with- 
drawal of which from his direction he earnestly objected to. 
The true line of attack was on the south of the James, where 
Grant was subsequently forced by the ability of Lee ; but it 
should be observed that after he took the field, McClellan had 
not the liberty of action accorded to Grant. That Lee caught 
his right " in the air " at Hanover and Cold Harbor, McClellan 
ascribes to his Government's interference with and withdrawal 
of McDowell's corps. Reserving this, he fought well at Gaines's 
Mill, Cold Harbor, and Frazier's Farm. Always protecting his 
selected line of retreat, bringing off his movable stores, and pre- 
serving the organization of his army, he restored its spirit and 
morale by turning at Malvern Hill to inflict a bloody repulse on 
his enemy. In his official report he speaks of his movement 
from the Chickahominy to Harrison's Landing on the James as a 
change of base, previously determined. This his detractors 
sneer at as an afterthought, thereby unwittingly enhancing his 
merit. Regarded as a change of base, carefully considered and 
provided for, it was most creditable ; but if suddenly and unex- 
pectedly forced upon him, he exhibited a courage, vigor, and 
presence of mind worthy of the greatest commanders. 

Safe at Harrison's Landing, in communication with the fleet, 
the army was transferred from McClellan to the command of 
General Pope ; and the influence of McClellan on his troops 



"THE SEVEN DAYS AROUND RICHMOND." 95 

can not be correctly estimated without some allusion to this offi- 
cer, under whose command the Federal Army of the Potomac 
suffered such mortifying defeat. Of an effrontery while danger 
was remote equaled by helplessness when it was present, and 
mendacity after it had passed, the annals of despotism scarce 
afford an example of the elevation of such a favorite. It has 
been said that his talent for the relation of obscene stories en- 
gaged the attention and confidence of President Lincoln. How- 
ever this may be, great was the consternation at Washington 
produced by his incapacity. The bitterness of official rancor 
was sweetened, and in honeyed phrase McClellan was implored 
to save the capital. He displayed an unselfish patriotism by 
accepting the task without conditions for himself, but it may 
be doubted if he was right in leaving devoted friends under 
the scalping-knife, speedily applied, as might have been fore- 
seen. 

"With vigor he restored order and spirit to the army, and led 
it, through the passes of South Mountain, to face Lee, who was 
stretched from Chambersburg to Harper's Ferry. Having un- 
accountably permitted his cavalry to separate from him, and 
deprived himself of adequate means of information, Lee was to 
some extent taken unawares. His thin lines at Antietam, slow- 
ly fed with men jaded by heavy marching, were sorely pressed. 
There was a moment, as Hooker's advance was stayed by the 
wound of its leader, when McClellan, with storge of battle, 
might have led on his reserves and swept the field. Hard 
would it have been for the Confederates, with the river in rear ; 
but this seemed beyond McClellan or outside of his nature. 
Antietam was a drawn battle, and Lee recrossed into Virginia 
at his leisure. 

While it may be confidently believed that McClellan would 
have continued to improve by experience in the field, it is 
doubtful if he possessed that divine spark which impels a com- 
mander, at the accepted moment, to throw every man on the 
enemy and grasp complete victory. But his Government gave 
him no further opportunity. He disappeared from the war, to 
be succeeded by mediocrity, too well recognized to disturb the 



96 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION". 

susceptibility of a "War Secretary who, like Louvois, was able,- 
but jealous of merit and lustful of power. 

Although in the last months of the war, after he had as- 
sumed command of the armies of the Confederacy, I had some 
correspondence with General Lee, I never met him again, and 
indeed was widely separated from him, and it now behooves me 
to set forth an opinion of his place in Southern history. Of 
all the men I have seen, he was best entitled to the epithet of 
distinguished ; and *so marked was his appearance in this par- 
ticular, that he would not have passed unnoticed through the 
streets of any capital. Reserved almost to coldness, his calm 
dignity repelled familiarity : not that he seemed without sym- 
pathies, but that he had so conquered his own weaknesses as to 
prevent the confession of others before him. At the outbreak 
of the war his reputation was exclusively that of an engineer, 
in which branch of the military service of the United States he 
had, with a short exception, passed his career. He was early 
sent to Western Yirginia on a forlorn hoj>e against Kosecrans, 
where he had no success ; for success was impossible. Yet his 
lofty character was respected of all and compelled public confi- 
dence. Indeed, his character seemed perfect, his bath in Sty- 
gian waters complete; not a vulnerable spot remained: totus 
teres atque rotundus. His soldiers reverenced him and had un- 
bounded confidence in him, for he shared all their privations^ 
and they saw him ever unshaken of fortune. Tender and pro 
tecting love he did not inspire : such love is given to weakness, 
not to strength. Not only was he destitute of a vulgar greed 
for fame, he would not extend a hand to welcome it when it 
came unbidden. He was without ambition, and, like "Washing- 
ton, into whose family connection he had married, kept duty as 
his guide. 

The strategy by which he openly, to attract attention, reen- 
forced Jackson in the Yalley, to thrust him between McDowell 
and McClellan at Cold Harbor, deserves to rank with Marl- 
borough's cross march in Germany and Napoleon's rapid con- 
centration around Ulm ; though his tactical manoeuvres on the 



"THE SEYEK DAYS ABOUND KICHMOND." 97 

field were inferior to the strategy. His wonderful defensive 
campaign in 1864 stands with that of Napoleon in 1813 ; and 
the comparison only fails by an absence of sharp returns to the 
offensive. The historian of the Federal Army of the Potomac 
states (and, as far as I have seen, uncontradicted) that Grant's 
army, at second Cold Harbor, refused to obey the order to at- 
tack, so distressed was it by constant butchery. In such a con- 
dition of morale an advance upon it might have changed 
history. In truth, the genius of Lee for offensive war had 
suffered by a too long service as an engineer. Like Erskine in 
the House of Commons, it was not his forte. In both the An- 
tietam and Gettysburg campaigns he allowed his cavalry to 
separate from him, and was left without intelligence of the 
enemy's movements until he was upon him. In both, too, his 
army was widely scattered, and had to be brought into action 
by piecemeal. There was an abundance of supplies in the 
country immediately around Harper's Terry, and had he re- 
mained concentrated there, the surrender of Miles would have 
been advanced, and McClellan met under favorable conditions. 
His own report of Gettysburg confesses his mistakes ; for he 
was of too lofty a nature to seek scapegoats, and all the ram- 
bling accounts of that action I have seen published add but 
little to his report. These criticisms are written with unaffected 
diffidence ; but it is only by studying the campaigns of great 
commanders that the art of war can be illustrated. 

Nevertheless, from the moment Lee succeeded to the com- 
mand of the army in Yirginia, he was facile princeps in the 
war, towering above all on both sides, as the pyramid of Ghizeh 
above the desert. Steadfast to the end, he upheld the waning 
fortunes of the Confederacy as did Hector those of Troy. 
Last scene of all, at his surrender, his greatness and dignity 
made of his adversary but a humble accessory; and if de- 
parted intelligences be permitted to take ken of the affairs of 
this world, the soul of Light Horse Harry rejoices that his own 
eulogy of "Washington, " First in war, first in. peace, first in the 
hearts of his countrymen," is now, by the united voice of the 
South, applied to his noble son. 
7 



98 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

Foregoing criticisms have indicated the tendency of engineer 
service to unfit men for command. It was once said of a certain 
colonel that he was an admirable officer when absent from sol- 
diers. No amount of theoretical training can supply the knowl- 
edge gained by direct and immediate association with troops. 
The ablest and most promising graduates from West Point are 
annually assigned to the engineer and ordnance corps. After 
some years they become scientists, perhaps pedants, but not sol- 
diers. Whatever may be the ultimate destination of such young 
men, they should be placed on duty for at least one year with 
each arm of the service, and all officers of the general staff below 
the highest grades should be returned to the line for limited 
periods. In no other way can a healthy connection between 
line and staff be preserved. The United States will doubtless 
continue to maintain an army, however small, as a model, if for 
no other purpose, for volunteers, the reliance of the country in 
the event of a serious war. It ought to have the best possible 
article for the money, and, to secure this, should establish a 
camp of instruction, composed of all arms, where officers could 
study the actual movements of troops. 



CHAPTEK VII. 



THE DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA. 



A month of rest at Richmond restored my health, which sub- 
sequently remained good ; but in leaving Virginia I was sepa- 
rated from my brigade, endeared by so many memories. It 
remained with Lee's army, and gained distinction in many bat- 
tles. As the last preserved of Benjamin on the rock of Pimmon, 
scarce a handful survived the war ; but its story would comprise 
much of that of the Army of Northern Virginia, and I hope 
some survivor, who endured till the end, will relate it. A braver 
command never formed line of battle. 

And now I turned my steps toward the West, where, beyond 
the " father of waters," two years of hard work and much fight- 
ing awaited me. The most direct route to the Southwest was 
by Chattanooga, where General Bragg was concentrating the 
Army of Tennessee. This officer had requested the "War De- 
partment to assign me to duty with his army as chief of staff, 
and it was suggested to me to call on him en route. He had 
reached Chattanooga in advance of his troops, then moving from 
Tupelo in northern Mississippi. In the two days passed at 
Chattanooga, General Bragg communicated to me his plan of 
campaign into Kentucky, which was excellent, giving promise 
of large results if vigorously executed ; and I think its failure 
may be ascribed to the infirmities of the commander. 

Born in North Carolina, graduated from West Point in 1837, 
Bragg served long and creditably in the United States artillery. 
In the war with Mexico he gained much celebrity, especially 
at Buena Vista, to the success of which action, under the imme- 
diate eye of General Zachary Taylor, he largely contributed. 



100 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

Resigning the service, he married a lady of Louisiana and pur- 
chased an estate on the Bayou Lafourche, where he resided at 
the outbreak of civil war. Promoted to the rank of general 
after the death of Albert Sidney Johnston, he succeeded Beau- 
regard, retired by ill health, in command of the Army of Ten- 
nessee. Possessing experience in and talent for war, he was the 
most laborious of commanders, devoting every moment to the 
discharge of his duties. As a disciplinarian he far surpassed 
any of the senior Confederate generals; but his method and 
manner were harsh, and he could have won the affections of his 
troops only by leading them to victory. He furnished a striking 
illustration of the necessity of a healthy body for a sound intel- 
lect. Many years of dyspepsia had made his temper sour and 
petulant ; and he was intolerant to a degree of neglect of duty, 
or what he esteemed to be such, by his officers. A striking in- 
stance of this occurred during my visit. At dinner, surrounded 
by his numerous staff, I inquired for one of his division com- 
manders, a man widely known and respected, and received this 

answer : " General is an old woman, utterly worthless." 

Such a declaration, privately made, would have been serious ; 
but publicly, and certain to be repeated, it was astonishing. 

As soon as we had withdrawn to his private room, I asked 

by whom he intended to relieve General . " Oh ! by no 

one. I have but one or two fitted for high command, and have 
in vain asked the War Department for capable people." To my 
suggestion that he could hardly expect hearty cooperation from 
officers of whom he permitted himself to speak contemptuously, 
he replied : " I speak the truth. The Government is to blame 
for placing such men in high position." From that hour I had 
misgivings as to General Bragg's success, and. felt no regret at 
the refusal of the authorities to assign me to duty with him. It 
may be said of his subordinate commanders that they supported 
him wonderfully, in despite of his temper, though that ulti- 
mately produced dissatisfaction and wrangling. Feeble health, 
too, unfitted him to sustain long-continued pressure of responsi- 
bility, and he failed in the execution of his own plan. 

The movement into Kentucky was made by two lines. Gen- 



THE DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA. 101 

eral Kirby Smith led a subordinate force from Knoxville, East 
Tennessee, through Cumberland Gap, and, defeating the Fed- 
erals in a spirited action at Richmond, Kentucky, reached Lex- 
ington, in the center of the State, and threatened Cincinnati. 
Bragg moved on a line west of the Cumberland range toward 
Louisville, on the Ohio River ; and this movement forced the 
Federal commander, Buell, to march north to the same point by 
a parallel road, farther west. Buell left garrisons at Nashville 
and other important places, and sought to preserve his commu- 
nications with Louisville, his base. "Weakened by detachments, 
as well as by the necessity of a retrograde movement, Bragg 
should have brought him to action before he reached Louisville. 
Defeated, the Federals would have been driven north of the 
Ohio to reorganize, and Bragg could have wintered his army in 
the fertile and powerful State of Kentucky, isolating the garri- 
sons in his rear ; or, if this was impossible, which does not ap- 
pear, he should have concentrated against Buell when the latter, 
heavily reenforced, marched south from Louisville to regain 
Nashville. But he fought a severe action at Perryville with a 
fraction of his army, and retired to Central Tennessee. The en- 
suing winter, at Murfreesboro, he contested the field with Rose- 
crans, Buell's successor, for three days ; and though he won a 
victory, it was not complete, and the summer of 1863 found him 
again at Chattanooga. In the mean time, a Federalforce under 
General Burnside passed through Cumberland Gap, and occupied 
Knoxville and much of East Tennessee, severing the direct line 
of rail communication from Richmond to the Southwest. 

This condensed account of the Kentucky campaign, extend- 
ing over many months, is given because of my personal intimacy 
with the commander, who apprised me of his plans. General 
Bragg died recently in Texas. I have rarely known a more con- 
scientious, laborious man. Exacting of others, he never spared 
himself, but, conquering disease, showed a constant devotion to 
duty ; and distinguished as were his services in the cause he 
espoused, they would have been far greater had he enjoyed the 
blessing of health. 

Leaving Chattanooga, I proceeded to my destination, west- 



102 DESTRUCTION" AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

ern Louisiana, and crossed the Mississippi at the entrance of Red 
River. Some miles below, in the Atchafalaya, I found a steam- 
er, and learned that the Governor of the State was at Opelousas, 
which could be reached by descending the last river to the junc- 
tion of the Bayou Courtableau, navigable at high water to the 
village of Washington, six miles north of Opelousas. Embark- 
ing on the steamer, I reached the junction at sunset, but the 
water in Courtableau was too low for steam navigation. As my 
family had sought refuge with friends in the vicinity of Wash- 
ington, I was anxious to get on, and hired a boat, with four negro 
oarsmen, to take me up the bayou, twenty miles. The narrow 
stream was overarched by trees shrouded with Spanish moss, 
the universal parasite of Southern forests. Heavy rain fell, ac- 
companied by vivid lightning, the flashes of which enabled us 
to find our way ; and before dawn I had the happiness to em- 
brace wife and children after a separation of fourteen months. 
Some hours later I reached Opelousas, and met the Governor, 
Thomas O. Moore, with whom I had served in our State Assem- 
bly. This worthy gentleman, a successful and opulent planter, 
had been elected Governor in 1860. He was a man of moder- 
ate temper and opinions, but zealously aided the Confederate 
cause after his State had joined it. Forced to leave New Or- 
leans by the approach of Farragut's fleet, he brought my family 
with him, and was unwearied in kind attentions. 

Melancholy indeed was the condition of the " District of 
Louisiana," to the command of which I was assigned. 

Confederate authority had virtually ceased with the fall of 
New Orleans in the previous April. Fortifications at Barataria, 
Berwick's Bay, and other Gulf -coast points had been abandoned, 
the garrisons withdrawn, works dismantled, and guns thrown 
into the water. The Confederate Government had no soldiers, 
no arms or munitions, and no money, within the limits of the 
district. Governor Moore was willing to aid me to the extent 
of his ability, but, deprived by the loss of New Orleans and the 
lower river parishes of half the population and three fourths of 
the resources of his State, he could do little. 

General Magruder had recently been assigned to command 



THE DISTKICT OF LOUISIANA. 103 

in Texas, and General Holmes, the senior officer west of the 
Mississippi, was far to the north in Arkansas. To him I at once 
reported my arrival and necessities. Many days elapsed before 
his reply was received, to the effect that he could give me no 
assistance, as he meditated a movement against Helena on the 
Mississippi Kiver. Without hope of aid from abroad, I addressed 
myself to the heavy task of arousing public sentiment, apathetic 
if not hostile from disaster and neglect, and the creation of some 
means of defense. Such was the military destitution that a re- 
giment of cavalry could have ridden over the State, while innu- 
merable rivers and bayous, navigable a large part of the year, 
would admit Federal gunboats to the heart of every parish. 

To understand subsequent operations in this region, one must 
have some idea of its topography and river systems. 

Washed on the east, from the Arkansas line to the Gulf of 
Mexico, by the Mississippi, western Louisiana is divided into 
two not very unequal parts by the Red River, which, entering 
the State at its northwestern angle, near the boundaries of Texas 
and Arkansas, flows southeast to the Mississippi through a broad, 
fertile valley, then occupied by a population of large slave-own- 
ers engaged in the culture of cotton. From the southern slopes 
of the Ozark Mountains in Central Arkansas comes the Washi- 
ta River to unite with the Red, a few miles above the junction 
of the latter with the Mississippi. Preserving a southerly course, 
along the eastern foot of the hills, the Washita enters the State 
nearly a hundred miles west of the Mississippi, but the westerly 
trend of the great river reduces this distance until the waters 
meet. The alluvion between these rivers, protected from inun- 
dation by levees along the streams, is divided by many bayous,, 
of which the Tensas, with its branch the Macon, is the most im- 
portant. These bayous drain the vast swamps into the Washitaj, 
and, like this river, are in the season of floods open to steam 
navigation. Here was one of the great cotton-producing regions 
of the South. Estates of 5,000 acres and more abounded,, and, 
with the numerous slaves necessary to their cultivation, were 
largely under the charge of overseers, while the proprietors re- 
sided in distant and more healthy localities. Abundant facili* 



104 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION". 

ties for navigation afforded by countless streams superseded the 
necessity for railways, and but one line of some eighty miles ex- 
isted. This extended from Monroe on the Washita to a point 
opposite Yicksburg on the Mississippi ; but the great flood of 
1862 had broken the eastern half of the line. Finally, the lower 
Washita, at Trinity, where it receives the Tensas from the east 
and Little River from the west, takes the name of Black River. 
And it may be well to add that in Louisiana counties are called 
parishes, dikes levees, and streams bayous. 

South of the Red River, population and industries change. 
The first is largely composed of descendants of French colo- 
nists, termed Creoles, with some Spanish intermixed, and the 
•sugar cane is the staple crop, changing as the Gulf is approached 
to rice. At the point where the united Red and Washita Rivers 
join the Mississippi, which here changes direction to the east, 
the Atchaf alaya leaves it, and, flowing due south through Grand 
Lake and Berwick's Bay, reaches the Gulf at Atchafalaya Bay, 
two degrees west of its parent stream, and by a more direct 
course. Continuing the line of the Red and Washita, it not 
only discharges much of their waters, but draws largely from 
the Mississippi when this last is in flood. Midway between the 
Atchafalaya and the city of New Orleans, some eighty miles 
from either point, another outlet of the great river, the Bayou 
Lafourche, discharges into the Gulf after passing through a 
densely populated district, devoted to the culture of sugar cane 
and rice. A large lake, Des Allemands, collects the waters 
from the higher lands on the river and bayou, and by an outlet 
of the same name carries them to Barataria Bay. Lying many 
feet below the flood level of the streams, protected by heavy 
dikes, with numerous steam-engines for crushing canes and 
pumping water, and canals and ditches in every direction, this 
region resembles a tropical Holland. At the lower end of Lake 
Des Allemands passed the only line of railway in southern 
Louisiana, from a point on the west bank of the river opposite 
New Orleans to Berwick's Bay, eighty miles. Berwick's Bay, 
which is but the Atchafalaya after it issues from Grand Lake, is 
eight hundred yards wide, with great depth of water, and soon 



THE DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA. 105 

meets the Gulf in Atchafalaya Bay. A few miles above the 
railway terminus at Berwick's there enters from the west the 
Teche, loveliest of Southern streams. Navigable for more than 
a hundred miles, preserving at all seasons an equal breadth and 
depth, so gentle is its flow that it might be taken for a canal, 
did not the charming and graceful curves, by which it separates 
the undulating prairies of Attakapas from the alluvion of the 
Atchafalaya, mark it as the handiwork of Nature. Before the 
war, the Teche for fifty miles, from Berwick's Bay to New Ibe- 
ria, passed through one field of sugar canes, the fertile and 
well-cultivated estates succeeding each other. The mansions of 
the opulent planters, as well as the villages of their slaves, were 
situated on the west bank of the bayou overlooking the broad, 
verdant prairie, where countless herds roamed. On the east 
bank, the dense forest had given way to fields of luxuriant 
canes ; and to connect the two parts of estates, floating bridges 
were constructed, with openings in the center for the passage 
of steamers. Stately live oaks, the growth of centuries, orange 
groves, and flowers of every hue and fragrance surrounded the 
abodes of the seigneurs / while within, one found the grace of 
the salon combined with the healthy cheeriness of country life. 
Abundance and variety of game encouraged field sports, and 
the waters, fresh and salt, swarmed with fish. "With the sky 
and temperature of Sicily, the breezes from prairie and Gulf 
were as health-giving as those that ripple the heather on Scotch 
moors. In all my wanderings, and they have been many and 
wide, I can not recall so fair, so bountiful, and so happy a land. 
The upper or northern Teche waters the parishes of St. 
Landry, Lafayette, and St. Martin's — the Attakapas, home of the 
"Acadians." What the gentle, contented Creole was to the 
restless, pushing American, that and more was the Acadian to 
the creole. In the middle of the past century, when the victo- 
ries of "Wolfe and Amherst deprived France of her Northern 
possessions, the inhabitants of Nouvelle Acadie, the present 
Nova Scotia, migrated to the genial clime of the Attakapas, 
where beneath the flag of the lilies they could preserve their 
allegiance, their traditions, and their faith. Isolated up to the 



106 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

time of the war, they spoke no language but their own patois ; 
and, reading and writing not having come to them by nature, 
they were dependent for news on their cures and occasional 
peddlers, who tempted the women with chiffons and trinkets. 
The few slaves owned were humble members of the household, 
assisting in the cultivation of small patches of maize, sweet po- 
tatoes, and cotton, from which last the women manufactured 
the wonderful Attakapas cotonnade, the ordinary clothing of 
both sexes. Their little cabanes dotted the broad prairie in all 
directions, and it was pleasant to see the smoke curling from 
their chimneys, while herds of cattle and ponies grazed at will. 
Here, unchanged, was the French peasant of Fenelon and 
Bossuet, of Louis le Grand and his successor le Bien-Aime. 
Tender and true were his traditions of la belle France, but of 
France before Voltaire and the encyclopaedists, the Convention 
and the Jacobins — ere she had lost faith in all things, divine 
and human, save the bourgeoisie and amooats. Mounted on his 
pony, with lariat in hand, he herded his cattle, or shot and 
fished ; but so gentle was his nature, that lariat and rifle seemed 
transformed into pipe and crook of shepherd. Light wines 
from the Medoc, native oranges, and home-made sweet cakes 
filled his largest conceptions of feasts ; and violin and clarionet 
made high carnival in his heart. 

On an occasion, passing the little hamlet of Grand Coteau, 
I stopped to get some food for man and horse. A pretty maiden 
of fifteen springs, whose parents were absent, welcomed me. 
Her lustrous eyes and long lashes might have excited the envy 
of " the dark-eyed girl of Cadiz." Finding her alone, I was 
about to retire and try my fortune in another house ; but she 
insisted that she could prepare "monsieur un diner dans un 
tour de main," and she did. Seated by the window, looking 
modestly on the road, while I was enjoying her repast, she 
sprang to her feet, clapped her hands joyously, and exclaimed : 
" Via le gros Jean Baptiste qui passe sur son mulet avec deux 
bocals. Ah ! nous aurons grand bal ce soir." It appeared that 
one jug of claret meant a dance, but two very high jinks indeed. 
As my hostess declined any remuneration for her trouble, I 



THE DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA. 107 

begged her to accept a pair of plain gold sleeve buttons, my 
only ornaments. Wonder, delight, and gratitude chased each 
other across the pleasant face, and the confiding little creature 
put up her rose-bud mouth. In an instant the homely room be- 
came as the bower of Titania, and I accepted the chaste salute 
with all the reverence of a subject for his Queen, then rode 
away with uncovered head so long as she remained in sight. 
Hospitable little maiden of Grand Coteau, may you never 
have graver fault to confess than the innocent caress you be- 
stowed on the stranger ! 

It was to this earthly paradise, and upon this simple race, 
that the war came, like the tree of the knowledge of evil to 
our early parents. 

Some weeks before I reached my new field, General Yan 
Dorn, who commanded the Confederate forces east of the Mis- 
sissippi, had successfully resisted a bombardment of Yicksburg 
by Federal gunboats, during which the Confederate ram Ar- 
kansas, descending the Yazoo River, passed through the enemy's 
fleet, inflicting some damage and causing much alarm, and an- 
chored under the guns of Yicksburg. To follow up this suc- 
cess, Yan Dorn sent General Breckenridge with a division 
against Baton Rouge, the highest point on the river above New 
Orleans then held by the Federals, and the Arkansas was to de- 
scend to cooperate in the attack. Breckenridge reached Baton 
Rouge at the appointed time, assaulted, and was repulsed after 
a severe action ; but the Arkansas, disabled by an accident to 
her machinery, was delayed, and, learning of Breckenridge's 
failure, her commander ran her ashore on the west bank of the 
river a few miles above Baton Rouge, and destroyed her. 
Strengthening their garrison in this town, the Federals em- 
ployed many steamers on t&e river between it and New Or- 
leans, a hundred and twenty miles, armed vessels of Farragut's 
fleet guarding the stream. From time to time parties of in- 
fantry were landed to plunder and worry the peaceful inhabi- 
tants, though after the fall of New Orleans no Confederate 
forces had been on that part of the river, and no resistance was 
made by the people. 



108 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

Two days were passed at Opelousas in consultation with 
Governor Moore, who transferred to me several small bodies of 
State troops which he had organized. Alexandria on the Red 
River, some seventy-five miles north of Opelousas, was the geo- 
graphical center of the State and of steam navigation, and the 
proper place for the headquarters of the district. To escape 
the intense heat, I rode the distance in a night, and remained 
some days at Alexandria, engaged in the organization of neces- 
sary staff departments and in providing means of communica- 
tion with different parts of the State. Great distances and the 
want of railway and telegraph lines made this last a heavy bur- 
den. "Without trained officers, my presence was required at 
every threatened point, and I was seldom enabled to pass twen- 
ty-four consecutive hours at headquarters ; but Adjutant Sur- 
get, of whom mention has been made, conducted the business 
of the district with vigor and discretion during my absence. 
Subsequently, by using an ambulance in which one could sleep, 
and with relays of mules, long distances were rapidly accom- 
plished ; and, like the Irishman's bird, I almost succeeded in 
being in two places at the same time. 

Leaving Alexandria, I went south to visit the Lafourche 
and intervening regions. At Yermilionville, in the parish of 
Lafayette, thirty miles south of Opelousas, resided ex-Governor 
Mouton, a man of much influence over the Creole and Acadian 
populations, and an old acquaintance. Desiring his aid to 
arouse public sentiment, depressed since the fall of New Or- 
leans, I stopped to see him. Past middle age, he had sent his 
sons and kindred to the war, and was eager to assist the cause 
in all possible ways. His eldest son and many of his kinsmen 
fell in battle, his estate was diminished by voluntary contribu- 
tions and wasted by plunder, and he was taken to New Orleans 
and confined for many weeks ; yet he never faltered in his de- 
votion, and preserved his dignity and fortitude. 

In camp near New Iberia, seven and twenty miles south of 
Yermilionville, was Colonel Fournet, with a battalion of five 
companies raised in the parish, St. Martin's. The men were 
without instruction, and inadequately armed and equipped. Im- 



THE DISTEICT OF LOUISIANA. 109 

pressing on Fournet and his officers the importance of discipline 
and instruction, and promising to supply them with arms, I pro- 
ceeded to the residence of Leclerc Fusilier, in the parish of St. 
Mary's, twenty miles below New Iberia. Possessor of great es- 
tates, and of a hospitable, generous nature, this gentleman had 
much weight in his country. His sons were in the army, and 
sixty years had not diminished his energy nor his enthusiasm. 
He desired to serve on my staff as volunteer aide, promising to 
join me whenever fighting was to be done; and he kept his 
promise. In subsequent actions on the Teche and Red River, the 
first gun seemed the signal for the appearance of Captain Fu- 
silier, who, on his white pony, could be seen where the fight 
was the thickest, leading on or encouraging his neighbors. His 
corn bins, his flocks and herds, were given to the public service 
without stint ; and no hungry, destitute Confederate was per- 
mitted to pass his door. Fusilier was twice captured, and on 
the first occasion was sent to Fortress Monroe, where he, with 
fifty other prisoners from my command, was embarked on the 
transport Maple Leaf for Fort Delaware. Reaching the capes 
of Chesapeake at nightfall, the prisoners suddenly attacked and 
overpowered the guard, ran the transport near to the beach in 
Princess Anne County, Virginia, landed, and made their way 
to Richmond, whence they rejoined me in Louisiana. Again 
taken, Fusilier escaped, while descending the Teche on a steam- 
er, by springing from the deck to seize the overhanging branch 
of a live oak. The guard fired on him, but darkness and the 
rapid movement of the steamer were in his favor, and he got 
off unhurt. 

I have dwelt somewhat on the characters of Mouton and Fu- 
silier, not only because of their great devotion to the Confed- 
eracy, but because there exists a wide-spread belief that the 
Creole race has become effete and nerveless. In the annals of 
time no breed has produced nobler specimens of manhood than 
these two ; and while descendants of the French colonists re- 
main on the soil of Louisiana, their names and characters should 
be reverenced as are those of Hampden and Sidney in England. 

To Berwick's Bay, a hundred and seventy-five miles from 



HO DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

Alexandria. Here, on the eastern shore, was the terminus of 
the New Orleans and Opelousas railroad. A deep, navigable 
arm of the bay, called Bayou Boeuf , flows east of the station, 
which is on the island fronting the bay proper. Some engines 
and plant had been saved from the general wreck at New Or- 
leans, and the line was operated from the bay to Lafourche 
crossing, thirty miles. The intervening territory constitutes 
the parish of Terrebonne, with fertile, cultivated lands along 
the many bayous, and low swamps between. From Lafourche 
crossing to Algiers, opposite New Orleans, is fifty miles ; and, 
after leaving the higher ground adjacent to the Lafourche, the 
line plunges into swamps and marshes, impassable except on the 
embankment of the line itself. Midway of the above points, 
the Bayou des AHemands, outlet of the large lake of the same 
name, is crossed ; and here was a Federal post of some two hun- 
dred men with two field guns. On the west bank of the La- 
fourche, a mile or two above the railway crossing, and thirty- 
two miles below Donaldsonville, where the bayou leaves the 
Mississippi, lies the town of Thibodeaux, the most considerable 
place of this region. Navigable for steamers, whenever the 
waters of its parent river are high, restrained from inundation 
by levees on both banks, the Lafourche flows through the fertile 
and populous parishes of Assumption and Lafourche, and, after 
a sinuous course of some ninety miles, reaches the Gulf to the 
west of Barataria Bay. Above Thibodeaux there were no 
bridges, and communication between the opposite banks was 
kept up by ferries. 

One or two companies of mounted men, armed with fowling 
pieces, had been organized under authority from Governor Moore, 
and Colonel Waller's battalion of mounted riflemen had recently 
arrived from Texas. These constituted the Confederate army 
in this quarter. 



CHAPTEE VIII. 

©PEKATTONS IN LOUISIANA AND ON THE MISSISSIPPI. 

Mention lias been made of the plundering expeditions of 
the Federals, and the post at Bayou des Allemands was reported 
as the especial center from which raids on the helpless inhabit- 
ants were undertaken. I determined to attempt the surprise 
and capture of this post, which could be reached from the river 
at a point fifty miles below Donaldsonville. My estate was in 
the immediate vicinity of this point, and the roads and paths 
through plantations and swamps were well known to me. Col- 
onel Waller was assigned to the duty, with minute instructions 
concerning roads and movements, and competent guides were 
furnished him. Moving rapidly by night, and, to escape obser- 
vation, avoiding the road near the river, Waller with his Tex- 
ans gained the enemy's rear, advanced on his camp, and, after a 
slight resistance, captured two companies of infantry and the 
guns. The captured arms and accouterments served to equip 
Waller's men, whose rifles were altered flintlocks and worthless, 
and the prisoners were sent to the Teche to be guarded by 
Fournet's Acadiens. This trifling success, the first in the State 
since the loss of IsTew Orleans, attracted attention, and the peo- 
ple rejoiced at the capture of the Des Allemands garrison as 
might those of Greece at the unearthing of the accomplished 
and classic thief Cacus. Indeed, the den of that worthy never 
contained such multifarious " loot " as did this Federal camp. 
Books, pictures, household furniture, finger rings, ear rings, 
breastpins and other articles of feminine adornment and wear, 
attested the catholic taste and temper of these patriots. 

Persuaded that the Federal commander at New Orleans, 



112 » DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

General Benjamin F. Butler, was ignorant of the practices of 
his outlying detachments, I requested ex-Governor Wiekliffe of 
Louisiana, a non-combatant, to visit that officer under a flag of 
truce and call his attention to the subject. Duty to the suffer- 
ing population would force me to deal with perpetrators of such 
misdeeds as robbers rather than as soldiers. General Butler re- 
ceived Governor Wiekliffe politely, invited him to dine, and 
listened attentively tp his statements, then dismissed him without 
committing himself to a definite reply. However, the conduct 
complained of was speedily stopped, and, as I was informed, by 
orders from General Butler. This was the only intercourse I 
had with this officer during the war. Some months later he was 
relieved from command at New Orleans by General Banks, 
whose blunders served to endear him to President Lincoln, as 
did those of Yilleroy to his master, the fourteenth Louis. "When 
the good Scotch parson finished praying for all created beings 
and things, he requested his congregation to unite in asking a 
blessing for the " puir deil," who had no friends ; and General 
Butler has been so universally abused as to make it pleasant to 
say a word in his favor. Not that he needs assistance to defend 
himself ; for in the war of epithets he has proved his ability to 
hold his ground against all comers as successfully as did Count 
Robert of Paris with sword and lance. 

Preservation of the abundant supplies of the Lafourche 
country, and protectidn of the dense population from which re- 
cruits could be drawn, were objects of such importance as to 
justify the attempt to secure them with inadequate means. 

A few days after the Des Allemands affair, I was called to 
the north, and will for convenience anticipate events in this 
quarter during my absence. Minute instructions for his guid 
ance were given to Colonel Waller. The danger to be guarded 
against while operating on the river was pointed out, viz. : that 
the enemy might, from transports, throw forces ashore above and 
below him, at points where the swamps in the rear were im- 
passable ; and this trap Waller fell into. Most of his men es- 
caped by abandoning arms, horses, etc. Immunity from attack 
for some days had made them careless. Nothing compensates 



OPERATIONS IN LOUISIANA, ETC. 113 

for absence of discipline ; and the constant watchfulness, even 
when danger seems remote, that is necessary in war, can only be 
secured by discipline which makes »f duty a habit. 

Meanwhile, two skeleton regiments, the 18th Louisiana and 
Crescent, and a small battalion (Clack's) of infantry, with 
Semmes's and Ralston's batteries, reached me from east of the 
Mississippi, and were directed to the Lafourche. There also re- 
ported to me Brigadier Alfred Mouton, son of Governor Mouton, 
and a "West Pointer. This officer had been wounded at Shiloh, 
and was now ordered to command on the Lafourche. His in- 
structions were to make Thibodeaux his centre of concentration, 
to picket Bayou Des Allemands and Donaldsonville, thirty 
miles distant each, to secure early information of the enemy's 
movements, and to provide a movable floating bridge by which 
troops could cross the bayou, as the water was too low to admit 
steamers from the river. These same instructions had been 
given to the senior officer present before Mouton's arrival, but 
had been imperfectly executed. A feint on Des Allemands had 
induced the movement of nearly half the little force in that 
direction, and Mouton had scant time after he reached Thibo- 
deaux to correct errors before the enemy was upon him. 

In the last days of October the Federal General, "Weitzel,, 
brought up a force of some 4,000 from New Orleans, landed at 
Donaldsonville, and advanced down the Lafourche, on the west 
bank. There were Confederates on both sides of the bayou, but, 
having neglected their floating bridge, they could not unite., 
With his own, the 18th, the Crescent, Colonel McPheeters, and 
the four-gun battery of Captain Ralston — in all 500 men — Colo- 
nel Armand resisted "Weitzel's advance at Labadieville, eight 
miles above Thibodeaux. The fighting was severe, and Armand 
only retired after his ammunition was exhausted ; but he lost 
many killed and wounded, and some few prisoners. Colonel 
McPheeters was among the former, and Captains Ralston and 
Story among the latter. The loss of the Federals prevented 
"Weitzel'from attempting a pursuit ; and Mouton, who deemed it 
necessary to retire across Berwick's Bay, was not interrupted in 
his movement. "With his forces well in hand, Mouton. would 
8 



114 i DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION". 

have defeated Weitzel and retained possession of the Lafourche 
country. The causes of his failure to concentrate have been 
pointed out. Information <3f these untoward events reached me 
on the road from the north, and I arrived at Berwick's Bay as 
Mouton was crossing. 

To return to the time of departure from the Lafourche. 
Several days were passed at New Iberia in attention to a matter 
of much interest. Some eight miles to the southwest of the 
village there rises from the low prairie and salt marsh, at the 
head of Yermilion Bay, an island of high land, near a thousand 
acres in extent. Connected with the mainland by a causeway 
of some length, the island was the property and residence of 
Judge Avery. A small bayou, Petit Anse, navigable for 
light craft, approached the western side and wound through 
the marsh to Yermilion Bay. Salt wells had long been known 
to exist on the island, and some salt had been boiled there. The 
want of salt was severely felt in the Confederacy, our only con- 
siderable source of supply being in southwestern Yirginia, 
whence there were limited facilities for distribution. Judge 
Avery began to boil salt for neighbors, and, desiring to increase 
the flow of brine by deepening his wells, came unexpectedly upon 
a bed of pure rock salt, which proved to be of immense extent. 
Intelligence of this reached me at New Iberia, and induced me 
to visit the island. The salt was from fifteen to twenty feet 
below the surface, and the overlying soil was soft and friable. 
Devoted to our cause, Judge Avery placed his mine at my dis- 
position for the use of the Government. Many negroes were 
assembled to get out salt, and a packing establishment was or- 
ganized at New Iberia to cure beef. During succeeding months 
large quantities of salt, salt beef, sugar, and molasses were trans- 
ported by steamers to Yicksburg, Port Hudson, and other points 
east of the Mississippi. Two companies of infantry and a sec- 
tion of artillery were posted on the island to preserve order 
among the workmen, and secure it against a sudden raid of the 
enemy, who later sent a gunboat up the Petit Anse to shell the 
mine, but the gunboat became entangled in the marsh and was 
impotent. 



OPERATIONS IN LOUISIANA, ETC. . 115 

At Alexandria, where every effort was made to collect ma- 
terial, but without funds and among a depressed people, prog- 
ress was slow. It was necessary to visit Monroe, the chief place 
of the important Washita country * and I was further impelled 
thereto by dispatches from Richmond advising me that Lieu- 
tenant-General Pemberton had been assigned to command of 
the country east of the Mississippi, and that it was important 
for me to meet him, in order to secure cooperation on the river. 
I rode the distance, via Monroe, to a point opposite Yicksburg, 
over two hundred miles, excepting forty miles east of Monroe, 
where the railway was in operation. The eastern half of the 
line, from Bayou Macon to the Mississippi, had been broken up 
by the great flood of the .previous spring. 

Near Bayou Macon was encamped Colonel Henry Grey 
with his recently organized regiment, the 28th infantry. "With- 
out much instruction and badly equipped, its material was ex- 
cellent, and there were several officers of some experience, 
notably Adjutant Blackman, who had accompanied my old regi- 
ment, the 9th, to Yirginia, where he had seen service. The 
men were suffering from camp diseases incident to new troops, 
and Colonel Grey was directed to move, by easy marches to the 
Teche. In the low country between the Magon and the Missis- 
sippi were some mounted men under Captain Harrison. Resi- 
dents of this region, they understood the intricate system of 
swamps and bayous by which it is characterized, and furnished 
me guides to Yicksburg. 

Yicksburg lies on the hills where the river forms a deep re- 
entering angle. The peninsula on the opposite or western bank 
is several miles in length, narrow, and, when the waters are up, 
impassable except along the river's bank. It was through this 
peninsula that the Federals attempted, by digging a canal, to 
pass their gunboats and turn the Yicksburg batteries. The po- 
sition of the town with reference to approach from the west was 
marked by me at the time, and should be borne in mind. 

General Pemberton, who was at Jackson, came to Yicksburg 
to meet me, and we discussed methods of cooperation. It was 
of vital importance to control the section of the Mississippi re- 



116 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

ceiving the Red and Washita Rivers. By so doing connection 
would be preserved between the two parts of the Confederacy, 
and troops and supplies crossed at will. Port Hudson, some 
forty miles below the entrance of Red River, was as favorably 
situated as Vicksburg above : for there again the hills touched 
the river and commanded it. My operations on the Lafourche 
had induced the enemy to withdraw from Baton Rouge, fifteen 
miles below, and one or two heavy guns were already mounted 
at Port Hudson. Pemberton engaged to strengthen the position 
at once. As there were many steamers in the Red and Washita, 
I undertook to supply Yicksburg and Port Hudson with corn, 
forage, sugar, molasses, cattle, and salt ; and this was done be- 
yond the ability of the garrisons to store or remove them. 
Quantities of these supplies were lying on the river's bank when 
the surrenders of the two places occurred. 

A Pennsylvanian by birth, Pemberton graduated from West 
Point in 1837, and was assigned to an artillery regiment. His 
first station was in South Carolina, and he there formed his 
early friendships. The storm of "nullification" had not yet 
subsided, and Pemberton imbibed the tenets of the Calhoun 
school. In 1843 or 1844 I met him for the first time on the 
Niagara frontier, and quite remember my surprise at his State- 
rights utterances, unusual among military men at that period. 
During the war with Mexico he was twice bre vetted for gallan- 
try in action. Later, he married a lady of Virginia, which 
may have tended to confirm his political opinions. At the be- 
ginning of civil strife he was in Minnesota, commanding a bat- 
talion of artillery, and was ordered to Washington. Arrived 
there with his command, he resigned his commission in the 
United States army, went to Richmond, and offered his sword 
to the Confederacy without asking for rank. Certainly he must 
have been actuated by principle alone ; for he had everything 
to gain by remaining on the Northern side. 

In the summer of 1862 General Yan Dorn, commanding 
east of the Mississippi, proclaimed martial law, which he ex- 
plained to the people to be the will of the commander. Though 
a Mississippian by birth, such a storm was excited against Yan 



OPERATIONS IN LOUISIANA, ETC. 117 

Dorn in that State that President Davis found it necessary to 
supersede him, and Pemberton was created a lieutenant-general 
for the purpose. Davis could have known nothing of Pember- 
ton except that his military record was good, and it is difficult 
to foresee that a distinguished subordinate will prove incompe- 
tent in command. Errors can only be avoided by confining the 
selection of generals to tradespeople, politicians, and newspaper 
men without military training or experience. These are all 
great commanders d'etat, and universally succeed. The inca- 
pacity of Pemberton for independent command, manifested in 
the ensuing campaign, was a great misfortune to the Confed- 
eracy, but did not justify aspersions on his character and mo- 
tives. The public howled, gnashed its teeth, and lashed itself 
into a beautiful rage. He had joined the South for the express 
purpose of betraying it, and this was clearly proven by the fact 
that he surrendered on the 4th of July, a day sacred to the Yan- 
kees. Had he chosen any other day, his guilt would not have 
been so well established ; but this particular day lacerated the 
tenderest sensibilities of Southern hearts. President Davis 
should have known all about it; and yet he made a pet of 
Pemberton. " Yox populi, vox diaboli." 

Returned to Alexandria, I met my chief of artillery and 
ordnance, Major J. L. Brent, just arrived from the east with 
some arms and munitions, winch he had remained to bring with 
him. This officer had served on the staff of General Magruder 
in the Peninsular and Richmond campaigns, after which, learn- 
ing that I was ordered to Louisiana, where he had family con- 
nections, he applied to serve with me. Before leaving Richmond 
I had several interviews with him, and was favorably impressed. 

A lawyer by profession, Major Brent knew nothing of mili- 
tary affairs at the outbreak of the war, but speedily acquainted 
himself with the technicalities of his new duties. Devoted to 
work, his energy and administrative ability were felt in every 
direction. Batteries were equipped, disciplined, and drilled. 
Leather was tanned, harness made, wagons built, and a little 
workshop, established at New Iberia by Governor Moore, became 
important as an arsenal of construction. The lack of paper for 



118 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

cartridges was embarrassing, and most of the country newspa- 
pers were stopped for want of material. Brent discovered a 
quantity of wall paper in the shops at Franldin, New Iberia, etc., 
and used it for cartridges ; and a journal published at Franklin 
was printed on this paper. A copy of it would be " a sight " to 
Mr. Walter and the staff of the " Thunderer." The esprit de 
corps of Brent's artillery was admirable, and its conduct and 
efficiency in action unsurpassed. Serving with wild horsemen, 
unsteady and unreliable for want of discipline, officers and men 
learned to fight their guns without supports. True, Brent had 
under his command many brilliant young officers, whose names 
will appear in this narrative ; but his impress was upon all, and 
he owes it to his command to publish an account of the services 
of the artillery in western Louisiana. 

En route to Lafourche, I learned of the action at Labadieville, 
and hurried on to Berwick's Bay, which Mouton had just crossed, 
and in good time ; for Federal gunboats entered from the Gulf 
immediately after. Their presence some hours earlier would 
have been uncomfortable for Mouton. It is curious to recall the 
ideas prevailing in the first years of the war about gunboats. 
To the wide-spread terror inspired by them may be ascribed the 
loss of Fort Donelson and New Orleans. Omne ignotum pro 
magnifico ; and it was popularly believed that the destructive 
powers of these monsters were not to be resisted. Time proved 
that the lighter class of boats, called " tin-clads," were helpless 
against field guns, while heavy iron-clads could be driven off by 
riflemen protected by the timber and levees along streams. To 
fire ten-inch guns at skirmishers, widely disposed and under 
cover, was very like snipe-shooting with twelve-pounders ; and 
in narrow waters gunboats required troops on shore for their 
protection. 

Penetrated in all directions by watercourses navigable when* 
the Mississippi was at flood, my " district " was especially ex- 
posed, and every little bayou capable of floating a cock-boat 
called loudly for forts and heavy guns. . Ten guns, thirty-two- 
and twenty-four-pounders, of those thrown into the water at 
Barataria and Berwick's Bays after the surrender of New Or- 



OPERATIONS IN LOUISIANA, ETC. 119 

leans, had been recovered, and were mounted for defense. To 
protect Red River against anything that might chance to run the 
batteries of Vieksburg and Port Hudson, two thirty-twos were 
placed in position on the south bank, thirty odd miles below 
Alexandria, where the high ground of Avoyelles Prairie touches 
the river ; and for the same purpose two guns were mounted at 
Harrisonburg on the west bank of the Washita. An abrupt hill 
approached the river at this point, and commanded it. 

The presence of gunboats in Berwick's Bay made it neces- 
sary to protect the Atchaf alaya also ; for access to the Red and 
"Washita could be had by it. As yet, the waters were too low 
to navigate Grand Lake ; but it was now [November, and the 
winter flood must be expected. Some twelve miles from St. 
Martinsville on the Teche was a large mound on the west bank 
of the Atchafalaya, called " Butte a la Rose." A short distance 
above the point, where the river expands into Grand Lake, this 
" Butte " was the only place for many miles not submerged when 
the waters were up. The country between it and the Teche was 
almost impassable even in the dry season — a region of lakes, 
bayous, jungle, and bog. I succeeded in making my way through 
to inspect the position, the only favorable one on the river, and 
with much labor two twenty-fours were taken there and mount- 
ed. Forts Beauregard on the Washita, De Russy on the Red, 
and Burton on the Atchafalaya, were mere water batteries to 
prevent the passage of gunboats, and served that purpose. It 
was not supposed that they could be held against serious land 
attacks, and but fifty to a hundred riflemen were posted at each 
to project the gunners from boats' crews. 

During the floods of the previous spring many steamers had 
been brought away from New Orleans, and with others a pow- 
erful tow-boat, the Webb, now lying at Alexandria, and the 
Cotton. This last, a large river steamer, was in the lower Teche 
in charge of Captain Puller, a western steamboat man, and one 
of the bravest of a bold, daring class. He desired to convert 
the Cotton into a gunboat, and was assisted to the extent of his 
means by Major Brent, who furnished two twenty-fours and a 
field piece for armament. An attempt was made to protect the 



120 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION". 

boilers and machinery with cotton bales and railway iron, of 
which we had a small quantity, and a volunteer crew was put 
on board, Fuller in command. 

Midway between Berwick's Bay and Franklin, or some thir- 
teen miles from each, near the Bisland estate, the high ground 
from Grand Lake on the east to Vermilion Bay on the west is re- 
duced to a narrow strip of some two thousand yards, divided 
by the Teche. Here was the best position in this quarter for a 
small force ; and Mouton, who had now ten guns and about 
thirteen hundred men, was directed to hold it, with scouts and 
pickets toward Berwick's. A floating bridge, of the kind de- 
scribed, was just above the position, and two others farther up 
stream afforded ready communication across the bayou. A light 
earthwork was thrown up from Grand Lake Marsh to the Teche, 
and continued west to the embankment of the uncompleted 
Opelousas Railway, which skirted the edge of Yermilion Marsh. 
The objection to this position was the facility of turning it by 
a force embarking at Berwick's, entering Grand Lake immedi- 
ately above, and landing at Hutchin's, not far from Franklin, 
through which last passed the only line of retreat from Bisland. 
This danger was obvious, but the people were so depressed by 
our retreat from Lafourche that it was necessary to fight even 
with this risk. 

Weitzel had followed slowly after Mouton-, and now, in con- 
nection with gunboats, made little attacks on our pickets below 
Bisland ; but I knew his force to be too small to attempt any- 
thing serious. In these affairs Fuller was always forward with 
the Cotton, though her boilers were inadequately protected, and 
she was too large and unwieldy to be handled in the narrow 
Teche. Meanwhile, I was much occupied in placing guns on 
the rivers at the points mentioned, getting out recruits for the 
two skeleton infantry regiments, consolidating independent 
companies, and other work of administration. 

In the first days of January, 1863, Weitzel's force was in- 
creased to forty-five hundred men (see " Report on the Conduct 
of the War," vol. ii., p. 307) ; and on the 11th of the month, ac- 
companied by gunboats, he advanced up the Teche and drove in 



OPERATIONS IN LOUISIANA, ETC. 121 

Mouton's pickets. Left unprotected by the retreat of the pick- 
t ets, the Cotton was assailed on all sides. Fuller fought man- 
fully, responding to the fire of the enemy's boats with his 
twenty-fours, and repulsing the riflemen on either bank with 
his field piece. His pilots were killed and he had an arm 
broken, but he worked the wheel with his feet, backing up the 
bayou, as from her great length the boat could not be turned in 
the narrow channel. ]STight stopped the enemy's advance, and 
Mouton, deeming his force too weak to cope with "Weitzel, 
turned the Cotton across the bayou, and scuttled and burned 
her to arrest the further progress of the Federal boats. Weit- 
zel returned to Berwick's, having accomplished his object, the 
destruction of the Cotton, supposed by the Federals to be a 
formidable iron-clad. 

Much disturbed by the intelligence of these events, as they 
tended still further to depress public sentiment and increase the 
dread of gunboats, I went to Bisland and tried to convince 
officers and men that these tin-clads could not resist the rapid 
fire of field guns, when within range. At distances the thirty- 
pound Parrotts of the boats had every advantage, but this would 
be lost by bringing them to close quarters. During my stay 
several movements from Berwick's were reported, and Mouton 
and I went down with a battery to meet them, hoping to illus- 
trate my theory of the proper method of fighting gunboats; 
but the enemy, who intended nothing beyond annoyance, always 
retired before we could reach him. Yet this gave confidence to 
our men. 

The two twenty-fours removed from the wreck of the Cot- 
ton were mounted in a work on the west bank of the Teche, 
to command the bayou and road, and the line of breastworks 
was strengthened. Some recruits joined, and Mouton felt able 
to hold the lines at Bisland against the force in his front. 

In the last days of January, 1863, General Grant, with a 
large army, landed on the west bank of the Mississippi and be- 
gan operations against Yicksburg, a fleet of gunboats under 
Admiral Porter cooperating with him. The river was now in 
flood, and the Federals sought, by digging a canal through the 



122 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

narrow peninsula opposite Yicksburg, to pass their fleet below 
the place without exposing it to fire from the batteries. Many- 
weeks were devoted to this work, which in the end was aban- 
doned. In February the Federal gunboat Queen of the "West, 
armed with a thirty-pound Parrott and five field guns, ran the 
batteries at Yicksburg and caused much alarm on the river be- 
low. The tow-boat Webb, before mentioned, had powerful 
machinery and was very fast, and I determined to use her as a 
ram and attempt the destruction of the Queen. A thirty-two- 
pounder, rifled and banded, was mounted forward, some cotton 
bales stuffed around her boilers, and a volunteer crew organ- 
ized. Pending these preparations I took steamer at Alexandria 
and went down to Port De Pussy, and thence to Butte a la 
Rose, which at this season could only be reached by river. The 
little garrison of sixty men, with their two twenty-fours, had 
just before driven off some gunboats, attempting to ascend the 
Atchafalaya from Berwick's Bay. Complimenting them on 
their success and warning them of the presence of the Queen 
in our waters, I turned back, hoping to reach De Pussy ; but at 
Simmsport, on the west bank of the Atchafalaya, a mile or two 
below the point at which it leaves the Ped, I learned that the 
Federal boat had passed up the latter river, followed by one of 
our small steamers captured on the Mississippi. Accompanied 
by Major Levy, an officer of capacity and experience, I took 
horse and rode across country to De Pussy, thirty miles. 

It was the 14th of February, a cold, rainy day ; and as we 
emerged from the swamps of Deglaize on to the prairie of 
Avoyelles, the rain changed to sleet and hail, with a fierce north 
wind. Occasional gusts were so sharp that our cattle refused to 
face them and compelled us to halt. Suddenly, reports of 
heavy guns came from the direction of De Pussy, five miles 
away. Spurring our unwilling horses through the storm, we 
reached the river as night fell, and saw the Queen of the "West 
lying against the opposite shore, enveloped in steam. A boat 
was manned and sent over to take possession. A wounded offi- 
cer, with a surgeon in charge, and four men, were found on 
board. The remainder of the crew had passed through the 



OPERATIONS IN LOUISIANA, ETC. 123 

forest to the captured steamer below, embarked, and made off 
down river. A shot from De Russy had cut a steam pipe and 
the tiller rope, but in other respects the Queen was not materi- 
ally injured. She was an ordinary river steamer, with her bow 
strengthened for ramming. A heavy bulwark for protection 
against sharp-shooters, and with embrasures for field guns, sur- 
rounded her upper deck. 

Pushing on to Alexandria, I found the wildest alarm and 
confusion. The arrival of the Federal gunboat was momen- 
tarily expected, and the intelligence of her capture was hardly 
credited. The "Webb was dispatched to overtake the escaped 
crew of the Queen, and the latter towed up to Alexandria for 
repairs. Entering the Mississippi, the Webb went up river, 
sighted the escaped steamer, and was rapidly overhauling her, 
when there appeared, coming down, a heavy iron-clad that had 
passed the Yicksburg batteries. This proved to be the India- 
nola, armed with two eleven-inch guns forward and two nine- 
inch aft, all in iron casemates. The ."Webb returned to De 
Russy with this information, which was forwarded to Alexan- 
dria. "We had barely time to congratulate ourselves on the cap- 
ture of the Queen before the appearance of the Indianola de- 
prived us again of the navigation of the great river, so vital to 
our cause. To attempt the destruction of such a vessel as the 
Indianola with our limited means seemed madness ; yet volun- 
teers for the work promptly offered themselves. 

Major Brent took command of the expedition, with Captain 
McCloskey, staff quartermaster, on the Queen, and Charles 
Pierce, a brave steamboatman, on the "Webb. On the 19th of 
February Brent went down to De Russy with the Queen, me- 
chanics still working on repairs, and there called for volunteer 
crews from the garrison. These were furnished at once, sixty 
for the "Webb under Lieutenant Handy, seventy for the Queen, 
on which boat Brent remained. There were five and twenty more 
than desired ; but, in their eagerness to go, many Texans and 
Louisianians smuggled themselves aboard. The fighting part 
of the expedition was soon ready, but there was difficulty about 
stokers. Some planters from the upper Red River had brought 



124: DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION". 

down their slaves to De Russy to labor on earthworks, but they 
positively refused to furnish stokers for the boats. It was a 
curious feature of the war that the Southern people would cheer- 
fully send their sons to battle, but kept their slaves out of dan- 
ger. Having exhausted his powers of persuasion to no purpose, 
Major Brent threw some men ashore, surrounded a gang of 
negroes at work, captured the number necessary, and departed. 
A famous din was made by the planters, and continued until 
their negroes were safely returned. 

In the night of the 22d of February the expedition, followed 
by a tender, entered the Mississippi, and met a steamer from 
Port Hudson, with two hundred men, sent up by General Gar- 
diner to destroy the Queen of the West, the capture of which 
was unknown. This, a frail river boat without protection for 
her boilers, could be of no service ; but she followed Brent up 
the river, keeping company with his tender. On the 23d 
Natchez was reached, and here the formidable character of the 
Indianola was ascertained. "While steaming up river in search 
of the enemy, the crews were exercised at the guns, the dis- 
charge of which set fire to the cotton protecting the boilers of 
the Queen. This was extinguished with difficulty, and showed 
an additional danger, to be guarded against by wetting the cot- 
ton thoroughly. Arrived in the afternoon of the 24th at a 
point sixty miles below Yicksburg, Brent learned that the In- 
dianola was but a short distance ahead, with a coal barge lashed 
on each side. He determined to attack in the night, to diminish 
the chances of the enemy's fire. It was certain that a shell 
from one of the eleven- or nine-inch guns would destroy either 
of his boats. 

At 10 p. m. the Indianola was seen near the western shore, 
some thousand yards distant, and the Queen, followed by the 
Webb, was driven with full head of steam directly upon her, 
both boats having their lights obscured. The momentum of 
the Queen was so great as to cut through the coal barge and in- 
dent the iron plates of the Indianola, disabling by the shock the 
engine that worked her paddles. As the Queen backed out the 
Webb dashed in at full speed, and tore away the remaining coal 



OPERATIONS IE" LOUISIANA, ETC. 125 

barge. Both the forward guns fired at the Webb, but missed 
her. Returning to the charge, the Queen struck the Indianola 
abaft the paddle box, crushing her frame and loosening some 
plates of armor, but received the fire of the guns from the rear 
casemates. One shot carried away a dozen bales of cotton on 
the right side ; the other, a shell, entered the forward port-hole 
on the left and exploded, killing six men and disabling two 
field pieces. Again the Webb followed the Queen, struck near 
the same spot, pushing aside the iron plates and crushing tim- 
bers. Yoices from the Indianola announced the surrender, and 
that she was sinking. As she was near the western shore, not 
far below Grant's army, Major Brent towed her to the opposite 
side, then in our possession, where, some distance from the 
bank, she sank on a bar, her gun deck above water. 

Thus we regained control of our section of the Mississippi, 
and by an action that for daring will bear comparison with 
any recorded of Kelson or Dundonald. Succeeding events at 
Yicksburg and Gettysburg so obscured this one, that in justice 
to the officers and men engaged it has seemed to me a duty to 
recount it. 

Brent returned to Red River, with his boats much shattered 
by the fray ; and before we could repair them, Admiral Farra- 
gut with several ships of war passed Port Hudson, and the navi- 
gation of the great river was permanently lost to us. Of the 
brave and distinguished Admiral Farragut, as of General Grant, 
it can be said that he always respected non-combatants and prop- 
erty, and made war only against armed men. 

In the second week of March a brigade of mounted Texans, 
with a four-gun battery, reached Opelousas, and was directed to 
Bisland on the lower Teche. This force numbered thirteen 
hundred, badly armed ; and to equip it exhausted the resources 
of the little arsenal at New Iberia. Under Brigadier Sibley, 
it had made a campaign into New Mexico and defeated the 
Federals in some minor actions, in one of which, Yalverde, the 
four guns had been captured. The feeble health of Sibley 
caused his retirement a few days after he reached the Teche, 
and Colonel Thomas Green, a distinguished soldier, succeeded 



126 DESTRUCTION AND REOONSTEUOTIOK 

to the command of the brigade. The men were hardy and 
many of the officers brave and zealous, but the value of these 
qualities was lessened by lack of discipline. In this, however, 
they surpassed most of the mounted men who subsequently 
joined me, discipline among these "shining by its utter ab- 
sence." Their experience in war was limited to hunting down 
Comanches and Lipans, and, as in all new societies, distinctions 
of rank were unknown. Officers and men addressed each other 
as Tom, Dick, or Harry, and had no more conception of mili- 
tary gradations than of the celestial hierarchy of the poets. 

I recall an illustrative circumstance. A mounted regiment 
arrived from Texas, which I rode out to inspect. The profound 
silence in the camp seemed evidence of good order. The men 
were assembled under the shade of some trees, seated on the 
ground, and much absorbed. Drawing near, I found the colonel 
seated in the center, with a blanket spread before him, on which 
he was dealing the fascinating game of monte. Learning that 
I would not join the sport, this worthy officer abandoned his 
amusement with some displeasure. It was a scene for that illus- 
trious inspector Colonel Martinet to have witnessed. 

There also arrived from the east, in the month of March, 
1863, to take command of the " Trans-Mississippi Department," 
Lieutenant-General E. Kirby Smith, which " department," in- 
cluding the States of Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, 
and the Indian Territory, with claims on New Mexico, extended 
over some millions of square miles. The occupation of a large 
part of this region by the Federals would have spared General 
Smith some embarrassments, had he not given much of his 
mind to the recovery of his lost empire, to the detriment of the 
portion yet in his possession ; and the substance of Louisiana 
and Texas was staked against the shadow of Missouri and 
northern Arkansas. 

General E. Kirby Smith graduated from. West Point in 
1845, in time to see service in the war with Mexico. Resign- 
ing from the United States cavalry to join the Confederacy, he 
moved with General Joseph E. Johnston's forces from the Yal- 
ley to reenforce Beauregard at Manassas, where he was wounded 



OPERATIONS IN LOUISIANA, ETC. 127 

while bringing up some troops to our left. Commanding in 
eastern Tennessee in the summer of 1862, lie led a force into 
Kentucky through Cumberland Gap, to cooperate with Bragg. 
At Richmond, Kentucky, a body of Federals was driven off, 
and Smith moved north to Lexington and Frankfort; after 
which his column was absorbed by Bragg's army. The senior 
general west of the Mississippi, Holmes, was in Arkansas, where 
he had accomplished nothing except to lose five thousand of his 
best troops, captured at Arkansas Post by General Sherman. 
It was advisable to supersede Holmes ; and, though he proved 
unequal to extended command, Smith, from his training and 
services, seemed an excellent selection. General Smith re- 
mained for several weeks in Alexandria, when he was driven 
away by the enemy's movements. The military situation of 
my immediate command was explained to him. 

To reopen the navigation of the Mississippi was the great 
desire of the Federal Government, and especially of the "West- 
ern people, and was mTfkifested by declarations and acts. Grant 
was operating against Yicksburg, and Banks would certainly 
undertake the reduction of Port Hudson ; but it was probable 
that he would first clear the west bank of the Mississippi to 
prevent interruption of his communications with New Orleans, 
threatened so long as we had a force on the lower Atchafalaya 
and Teche. Banks had twenty thousand men for the field, 
while my force, including Green's Texans, would not exceed 
twenty-seven hundred, with many raw recruits, and badly 
equipped. The position at Bisland might be held against a 
front attack, but could be turned by the way of Grand Lake. 
"With five thousand infantry I would engage to prevent the 
investment of Port Hudson ; and as such a reenf orcement must 
come from Holmes, and could not reach me for a month, I 
hoped immediate orders would be issued. 

On the 28th of March "Weitzel, who had been quiet at Ber 
wick's Bay for some time, sent the gunboat Diana, accompanied 
by a land force, up the Teche to drive in our pickets. The 
capture of the Queen of the "West and destruction of the India- 
nola had impaired the prestige of gunboats, and the troops at 



128 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

Bisland were eager to apply my theory of attacking them at 
close quarters. The enemy's skirmishers were driven off; a 
section of the "Yalverde" battery, Captain Sayres, rapidly 
advanced ; the fire of the gunboat was silenced in a moment, 
and she surrendered, with two companies of infantry on board. 
She was armed with a thirty-pounder Parrott and two field 
guns, and had her boilers protected by railway iron. Moved 
up to Bisland, her "Parrott" became a valuable adjunct to 
our line of defense. 



CHAPTEK IX. 

ATTACKED BY THE FEDERALS ATTEMPT TO EELIEVE VICKSBTTEG 

CAPTUEE OF BEEWICK's BAT. 

Inceeased activity of the enemy at Berwick's Bay in the 
first days of April indicated an advance ; and to guard against 
the danger from Grand Lake, Fuller, whose wounds in the Cot- 
ton affair were partially healed, was sent to Alexandria to com- 
plete repairs on the Queen and convert one or two other steam- 
ers into gunboats. It was hoped that he might harass the enemy 
on Grand Lake, delay the landing of troops, and aid the little 
garrison at Butte a la Rose in defending the Atchaf alaya. Ful- 
ler was as energetic as brave, but the means at his disposal were 
very limited. Accompanied by a tender, he descended the 
Atchafalaya on the Queen, leaving orders for his steamers to 
follow as soon as they were armed. They failed to reach him, 
and his subsequent fate will be mentioned. 

On the 10th of April the enemy had assembled at Berwick's 
sixteen thousand men under "Weitzel, Emory, and Grover (" Re- 
port on the Conduct of the "War," vol. ii., page 309). On the 12th 
Weitzel and Emory, twelve thousand strong, advanced up the 
Teche against Bisland, while Grover, with four thousand men, 
embarked on transports to turn our position by Grand Lake. 
"Weitzel and Emory came in sight of our lines before nightfall, 
threw forward skirmishers, opened guns at long range, and bi- 
vouacked ; and our scouts reported the movement on the lake. 
My dispositions were as follows : Mouton, with six hundred 
men and six guns, held the left from the lake to the Teche. 
The Diana in the bayou and two twenty-fours on the right bank 
guarded the stream and the main road ; and sixteen hundred 
9 



130 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

men, with twelve guns, prolonged the line to the railway em- 
bankment on our extreme right, held by Green with his dis- 
mounted horsemen. One of Green's regiments, Colonel Reilly, 
the 2d Louisiana cavalry, Colonel Yincent, recently embodied, 
and a section of guns, were at Hutchin's Point on Grand Lake. 

The cannonading ceased at dark, and when all was quiet I 
rode up to Franklin, thirteen miles, to look after my rear. A staff 
officer had been previously sent to direct the removal of stores 
from ISTew Iberia, order down Clack's battalion, some ninety 
men, from the salt mines, and communicate with Fuller at 
Butte a la Rose ; but the country around the Butte was flooded, 
and he was unable to reach it. 

Above Franklin the Teche makes a great bend to the east 
and approaches Grand Lake at Hutchin's Point, where there was 
a shell bank, and a good road leading to the high ground along 
the bayou. The road to ISTew Iberia leaves the Teche at Frank- 
lin to avoid this bend, and runs due north across the prairie. 
Just clear of the village it enters a small wood, through which 
flows a sluggish stream, the Bayou Yokely, crossed by a bridge. 
In the wood and near the stream the ground was low and boggy, 
impassable for wagons except on a causeway. The distance 
from Hutchin's Point to Yokely Bridge was less than that from 
Bisland ; and this bridge, held by the enemy, made escape from 
the latter place impossible ; yet to retreat without fighting was, 
in the existing condition of public sentiment, to abandon Loui- 
siana. 

I remained at Franklin until after midnight, when, learning 
from Eeilly that no landing had been made at Hutchin's, I re- 
turned to Bisland. The enemy was slow in moving on the 
13th, apparently waiting for the effect of his turning movement 
to be felt. As the day wore on he opened his guns, and gradu- 
ally increased his fire until it became very heavy. Many of his 
field pieces were twenty-pounder Parrotts, to which we had 
nothing to reply except the Parrott on the Diana and the twen- 
ty-fours ; and, as our supply of ammunition was small, Major 
Brent desired to reserve it for an emergency. 

"With the exception of Green's command, the troops on the 



ATTACKED BY THE FEDEKALS. 131 

right of the Teche were raw, and had never been in action. As 
shot and shell tore over the breastwork behind which they were 
lying, much consternation was exhibited, and it was manifest 
that an assault, however feeble, would break a part of the line. 
It was absolutely necessary to give the men some morale ; and, 
mounting the breastwork, I made a cigarette, struck fire with 
my hriquet, and walked up and down, smoking. Near the line 
was a low tree with spreading branches, which a young officer, 
Bradford by name, proposed to climb, so as to have a better 
view. I gave him my field glass, and this plucky youngster sat 
in his tree as quietly as in a chimney corner, though the branches 
around were cut away. These examples, especially that of Cap- 
tain Bradford, gave confidence to the men, who began to expose 
themselves, and some casualties were suffered in consequence. 

From the extreme right Colonel Green sent word that his 
corner was uncomfortably hot, and I found it so. The battery 
near him was cut up, its captain, Sayres, severely wounded, and 
Major Brent withdrew it. Green was assured that there were no 
places on our line particularly cool, and there was nothing to be 
done but submit to the pounding. 

A heavy fire was concentrated on the twenty-fours and the 
Diana. Captain Semmes, son of Admiral Semmes of Alabama 
fame, and an officer of much coolness in action, had been de- 
tached from his battery and placed in command of the boat. A 
message from him informed me that the Diana was disabled. 
She was lying against the bank under a severe fire. The waters 
of the bayou seemed to be boiling like a kettle. An officer 
came to the side of the boat to speak to me, but before he could 
open his mouth a shell struck him, and he disappeared as sud- 
denly as Harlequin in a pantomine. Semmes then reported his 
condition. Conical shells from the enemy's Parrotts had pierced 
the railway iron, killed and wounded several of his gunners and 
crew, and cut a steam pipe. Fortunately, he had kept down his 
fires, or escaping steam would have driven every one from the 
boat. It was necessary to take her out of fire for repairs. To 
lose even temporarily our best gun, the thirty-pounder, was 
hard, but there was no help for it. 



132 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

During the day staff officers were frequently sent to Mouton 
to ascertain his condition ; and, as the bridge over which they 
passed was in the line of fire directed on the Diana and the 
twenty-fours, the promenade was not a holiday affair. 

Several times in the afternoon the enemy appeared to be 
forming for an assault ; and after my men had become steady, I 
hoped an attack would be made, feeling confident of repuls- 
ing it. 

ISTight brought quiet, and no report came from Reilly at 
Hutchin's. No news seemed good news ; for I would have 
ample time to provide against a debarkation north of Hutchin's. 
The force at Bisland was in fine spirits. Protected by the breast- 
work, we had suffered but little ; and the Diana was expected 
to resume her position before morning. 

At 9 p. m. appeared Colonel Reilly to make the following re- 
port : The enemy had landed at Hutchin's, several thousand 
strong, with artillery, and advanced to the Teche, pushing our 
people back to and through Franklin. Reilly had left his com- 
mand in camp below Franklin, toward Bisland, but thought the 
enemy had not reached the village at nightfall. Here was pleas- 
ant intelligence ! There was no time to ask questions. I ho^ed 
to cut my way through, but feared the loss of wagons and ma- 
terial. Mouton was directed to withdraw from the left bank of 
the bayou, start the artillery and trains to Franklin, and follow 
with the infantry. Green, with his mounted men and a section 
of guns, was to form the rear guard ; and Semmes was told to 
hurry his repairs and get the Diana to Franklin by dawn. As 
there was no means of removing the two twenty-fours, they 
were to be disabled. Leaving Major Brent to look after his 
artillery and Major Levy to superintend the prompt execution 
of orders, I rode for Franklin, taking Reilly with me. Reach- 
ing his camp, three miles from the town, I found the men sleep- 
ing and the trains parked, though the enemy was so near at 
hand. The camp was aroused, the troops were ordered under 
arms, and Reilly left to move up at once, with his trains fol- 
lowing. 

Two hours after midnight, and the village of Franklin was 



ATTACKED BY THE FEDERALS. 133 

as silent as the grave. Beyond the last honses, toward New 
Iberia, a faint light from some camp fires could be seen. "Were 
the Federals in possession of the road ? Approaching the fires 
cautiously, I saw a sentinel walking his post, and, as he passed 
between me and the light, marked his ragged Confederate garb. 
Major Clack had reached this point after dark, and intended to 
resume his march to Bisland in the morning. He speedily got 
his little band under arms, and in the darkness we beat the wood 
to our right. Not a picket nor scout was found, and Yokely 
Causeway and Bridge were safe. From the farther edge of the 
wood, in open fields, Federal camp fires were visible. It was a 
wonderful chance. Grover had stopped just short of the prize. 
Thirty minutes would have given him the wood and bridge, 
closing the trap on my force. Eeilly, with his own and Yin- 
cent's regiments of horse and the two guns, came up. The 
guns were placed on the road near the Teche, with orders to 
stand fast. Reilly and Yincent dismounted their men, sent 
horses well to the rear, and formed line in the wood to the left 
of the guns, with Clack to the left of Yincent. 

The first light of dawn made objects visible and aroused the 
Federals, some two hundred yards distant. Advancing rapidly 
from the wood, our line poured in a fire and rushed forward 
with a shout. Taken by surprise, the Federals fell back, leav- 
ing a battery on their right exposed. To prevent the sleepy 
gunners from opening, I rode straight on the guns, followed by 
my staff and four mounted couriers, and the gunners made off. 
All this was easy enough. Surprise and the uncertain light had 
favored us ; but broad day exposed our weakness, and the enemy 
threw forward a heavy line of skirmishers. It was necessary for 
us to regain the wood, now four hundred yards to the rear. 
Officers behaved admirably in seconding my efforts to encour- 
age and steady their men and keep them well in hand. Our 
two guns on the road fired rapidly and effectively, but the Fed- 
erals came on in numbers, and their fire began to tell. Reilly 
was killed, Yincent wounded in the neck, and many others went 
down. At this moment the peculiar whistle of a Parrott shell 
was heard, and Semmes appeared with the Diana. 



134 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

The enemy's advance was arrested ; Gray's infantry from 
Bisland came up ; the wood was occupied ; Mouton with the re- 
maining infantry arrived, and all danger was over. Green, in 
command of the rear guard, showed great vigor, and prevented 
Emory and "Weitzel from pressing the trains. Besides the twen- 
ty-fours mentioned, one gun of Cornay's battery, disabled in the 
action of the 13th, was left at Bisland, and with these exceptions 
every wagon, pot, or pan was brought off. Two months later 
these guns were recaptured, much to the delight of our men. 

The trains over Yokely Bridge and on the road to New Iberia, 
Mouton skillfully withdrew from Grover's front as Green en- 
tered Franklin from below. To facilitate this, Semmes was di- 
rected to work the Diana's gun to the last moment, then get 
ashore with his crew, and blow up the boat. "With his usual 
coolness Semmes carried out his instructions, but, remaining too 
long near the Diana to witness the explosion he had arranged, 
was captured. 

The object sought in holding on to Bisland was attained. 
From this time forward I had the sympathy and support of the 
people, and my troops were full of confidence. Our retreat to 
Opelousas, by New Iberia and Yermilionville, was undisturbed, 
Green with his horse keeping the enemy in check. Indeed, the 
pursuit was without energy or vigor. The first defensible posi- 
tion was at the Bayou Yermilion, thirty miles south of Opelou- 
sas. Here, after an action of some warmth, the enemy was held 
back until night and the bridge destroyed. From Opelousas the 
infantry, by easy marches, moved to and up the valley of the 
Red River, where supplies were abundant. The country was 
open, and the great superiority of his numbers enabled the 
enemy to do as he liked. Mouton, with Green's horse, marched 
west of Opelousas. It was hoped that he could find subsistence 
between that place and the Mermentou River, and be in position 
to fall on the enemy's rear and capture any small force left on the 
Teche. I supposed that the Federal army, after reaching Alex- 
andria, would turn to the east, cross the Mississippi, and invest 
Port Hudson ; and this supposition proved to be correct. 

Meantime, accompanied by a tender, Fuller on the Queen 



ATTACKED BY THE FEDEKALS. 135 

entered Grand Lake on the 13th, expecting his two armed steam- 
ers to follow. On the morning of the 14th the Federal gun- 
boats from Berwick's Bay appeared, and Fuller, dispatching 
the tender up the Atchafalaya to hasten his steamers, prepared 
for action, as he doubtless would have done in presence of Ad- 
miral Farragut's fleet. A shell set fire to the Queen, and Fuller 
with his crew was captured. On the 20th the enemy's gunboats, 
assisted by four companies of infantry, captured Butte a la Rose 
with two twenty-four-pounders and sixty men. Semmes, Fuller, 
and the prisoners taken from the Queen and at the Butte, were 
on the transport Maple Leaf with Captain Fusilier, and escaped 
in the manner related, excepting Fuller, who from wounds re- 
ceived in his last action was unable to walk. Remaining in 
charge of the Maple Leaf until his friends were ashore, he re- 
stored her to the Federals, was taken to Fort Delaware, and died 
in prison. A braver man never lived. 

The Federal army reached Opelousas on the 20th of April, 
and remained there until the 5th of May, detained by fear of 
Mouton's horse to the west. Unfortunately, this officer was 
forced by want of supplies to move to the Sabine, more than a 
hundred miles away, and thrown out of the game for many days. 

In the "Report on the Conduct of the War," vol. ii., pp. 309 
and 310, the Federal General Banks makes the following state- 
ments : " During these operations on the Teche we captured 
over twenty-five hundred prisoners and twenty-two guns ; de- 
stroyed three gunboats and eight steamers " ; and further : " A 
dispatch from Governor Moore to General Taylor was inter- 
cepted, in which Taylor was directed to fall back into Texas." 
At the time, my entire force in western Louisiana was under 
three thousand, and it is rather startling to learn that we_ were 
all captured. Two twenty-fours and one field gun were aban^ 
doned at Bisland, and two twenty-fours lost at Butte a la Rose; 
"We scuttled and burnt the Cotton at Bisland, and blew up the 
Diana (captured from the enemy) at Franklin. The Queen (also 
captured) was destroyed in action on Grand Lake. The Federals 
caught two small steamers, the Ellen and Cornie, in the Atcha- 
falaya, and we destroyed two in the Teche. The other four re- 



136 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

ported by General Banks must have come from the realm of the 
multitude of prisoners and guns. It also appears from the in- 
tercepted dispatch of Governor Moore that major-generals of 
the Confederate army were under the orders of State governors 
— an original discovery. 

The delay of the Federals at Opelousas gave abundant time 
to remove our stores from Alexandria. General Kirby Smith, 
the new departmental commander, was advised to retire to 
Shreveport, two hundred miles up Red River, where, remote 
from danger or disturbance, he could organize his administra- 
tion. Threatened in rear, Fort De Russy was untenable ; so 
the place was dismantled and the little garrison withdrawn. On 
the 16th of April Admiral Porter with several gunboats had 
passed the Yicksburg batteries, and the abandonment of De 
Russy now left the Red River open to him. He reached Alex- 
andria on the 9th of May, a few hours in advance of Banks's 
army. From the 8th to the 11th of the same month some of 
his gunboats bombarded Fort Beauregard, on the Washita, but 
were driven off by the garrison under Colonel Logan. 

At this time I was sorely stricken by domestic grief. On 
the approach of the enemy to Alexandria my family embarked 
on a steamer for Shreveport. Accustomed to the gentlest care, 
my good wife had learned to take action for herself, insisting 
that she was unwilling to divert the smallest portion of my time 
from public duty. A moment to say farewell, and she left with 
our four children, two girls and two boys, all pictures of vigor- 
ous health. ' Before forty-eight hours had passed, just as she 
reached Shreveport, scarlet fever had taken away our eldest boy, 
and symptoms of the disease were manifest in the other children. 
The bereaved mother had no acquaintance in Shreveport, but 
the Good Samaritan appeared in the person of Mr. Ulger Lauve, 
a resident of the place, who took her to his house and showed 
her every attention, though he exposed his own family to great 
danger from contagion. The second boy died a few days later. 
The two girls, older and stronger, recovered. I was stunned by 
this intelligence, so unexpected, and it was well perhaps that the 
absorbing character of my duties left no time for the indulgence 



ATTACKED BY THE FEDEEALS. 137 

of private grief ; but it was sad to think of the afflicted mother, 
alone with her dead and dying, deprived of the consolation of 
my presence. Many days passed before we met, and then but 
for an hour. 

My infantry, hardly a thousand strong, with the trains, had 
marched to Natchitoches and camped, and some mounted scouts 
to observe the enemy were kept in the vicinity of Alexandria. 

On page 309 of the "Report" before quoted, General 
Banks says : " A force under Generals Weitzel and Dwight 
pursued the enemy nearly to Grand Ecore, so thoroughly dis- 
persing his forces that he was unable to reorganize a respect- 
able army until July." A party of Federal horse crossed 
Cane River at Monette's Ferry, forty miles below Grand 
Ecore, and chased a mounted orderly and myself about four 
miles, then turned back to Alexandria ; but I maintain that the 
orderly and I were not dispersed, for we remained together to 
the end. 

The Federal army withdrew from Alexandria on the 13th 
of May, and on the 23d crossed the Mississippi and proceeded 
to invest Port Hudson ; whereupon I returned by steamer to 
Alexandria, directing the infantry at Natchitoches to march 
back to the Teche to unite with Mouton. Having obtained 
supplies on the Sabine, Mouton and Green, the latter promoted 
to brigadier for gallant conduct, returned to the Teche country, 
but arrived too late to cut off the enemy, who with large plun- 
der had crossed to the east side of Berwick's Bay, where he had 
fortifications and gunboats. 

At Alexandria a communication from General Kirby Smith 
informed me that Major-General Walker, with a division of in- 
fantry and three batteries, four thousand strong, was on the 
march from Arkansas, and would reach me within the next few 
days ; and I was directed to employ "Walker's force in some at- 
tempt to relieve Yicksburg, now invested by General Grant, 
who had crossed the Mississippi below on the 1st of May. 

The peculiar position of Yicksburg and the impossibility of 
approaching it from the west bank of the Mississippi have been 
stated, and were now insisted upon. Granting the feasibility 



138 DESTRUCTION" AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

of traversing the narrow peninsula opposite the place, seven 
miles in length and swept by guns afloat on both sides, what 
would be gained ? The problem was to withdraw the garrison, 
not to reenforce it; and the correctness of this opinion was 
proved by the fact that Pemberton could not use the peninsular 
route to send out messengers. 

On the other hand, I was confident that, with "Walker's 
force, Berwick's Bay could be captured, the Lafourche overrun, 
Banks's communication with New Orleans interrupted, and that 
city threatened. Its population of two hundred thousand was 
bitterly hostile to Federal rule, and the appearance of a Con- 
federate force on the opposite bank of the river would raise 
such a storm as to bring General Banks from Port Hudson, the 
garrison of which could then unite with General Joseph John- 
ston in the rear of General Grant. Too late to relieve Port 
Hudson, I accomplished all the rest with a force of less than 
three thousand of all arms. 

Remonstrances were of no avail. I was informed that all 
the Confederate authorities in the east were urgent for some 
effort on our part in behalf of Yicksburg, and that public opin- 
ion would condemn us if we did not try to do something. To 
go two hundred miles and more away from the proper theatre 
of action in search of an indefinite something was hard; but 
orders are orders. Time was so important that I determined to 
run the risk of moving Walker by river, though the enemy 
could bring gunboats into the lower Red and Washita, as well 
as into the Tensas, and had some troops in the region between 
this last and the Mississippi. Steamers were held in readiness, 
and as soon as Walker arrived his command- was embarked and 
taken up the Tensas. I went on in advance to give notice to 
the boats behind of danger; for, crowded with troops, these 
would have been helpless in the event of meeting an enemy. 

Without interference, a point on the Tensas opposite Yicks- 
burg was reached and the troops disembarked. Here Captain 
Harrison's mounted men, previously mentioned, met us. For 
safety the steamers were sent down the Tensas to its junction 
with the Washita, and up the last above Fort Beauregard ; and 



ATTEMPT TO RELIEVE VICKSBURG. 139 

bridges were thrown over the Tensas and Macon to give com- 
munication with the terminus of the Monroe Railway. 

Walker rapidly advanced to the village of Richmond, mid- 
way between the Tensas and Mississippi, some twelve miles 
from each, where he surprised and captured a small Federal 
party. At Young's Point, ten miles above Yieksburg, on the 
west bank of the river, the enemy had a fortified camp, and a 
second one four miles above Young's, both occupied by negro 
troops. Holding one brigade in reserve at the point of separa- 
tion of the roads, Walker sent a brigade to Young's and an- 
other to the camp above. Both attacks were made at dawn, 
and, with the loss of some scores of prisoners, the negroes were 
driven over the levee to the protection of gunboats in the river. 

Fifteen miles above Yieksburg the Yazoo River enters the 
Mississippi from the east, and twenty-five miles farther up 
Steele's Bayou connects the two rivers. Before reaching the 
Mississippi the Yazoo makes a bend to the south, approaching 
the rear of Yieksburg. The right of Grant's army rested on 
this bend, and here his supplies were landed, and his transports 
were beyond the reach of annoyance from the west bank of the 
Mississippi. 

As foreseen, our movement resulted, and could result, in 
nothing. Walker was directed to desist from further efforts on 
the river, and move to Monroe, where steamers would be in 
readiness to return his command to Alexandria, to which place 
I pushed on in advance. Subsequently, General Kirby Smith 
reached Monroe direct from Shreveport, countermanded my 
orders, and turned Walker back into the region east of the 
Tensas, where this good soldier and his fine division were kept 
idle for some weeks, until the fall of Yieksburg. The time 
wasted on these absurd movements cost us the garrison of Port 
Hudson, nearly eight thousand men ; but the pressure on Gen- 
eral Kirby Smith to do something for Yieksburg was too strong 
to be resisted. 

At Alexandria I found three small regiments of Texan 
horse, just arrived. Together they numbered six hundred and 
fifty, and restored the loss suffered in action and in long marches 



140 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

by the forces on the Teche. Colonel (afterward brigadier) Ma- 
jor, the senior officer, was ordered to move these regiments to 
Morgan's Ferry on the Atchaf alaya ; and by ambulance, with 
relays of mules, I reached Mouton and Green on the lower 
Teche in a few hours. 

The Federals had a number of sick and convalescent at Ber- 
wick's Bay, but the effective force was small. Some works 
strengthened their positions, and there was a gunboat anchored 
in the bay. Mouton and Green were directed to collect small 
boats, skiffs, flats, even sugar-coolers, in the Teche ; and the im- 
portance of secrecy was impressed upon them. Pickets were 
doubled to prevent communication with the enemy, and only a 
few scouts permitted to approach the bay. Returning north to 
Morgan's Ferry, I crossed the Atchafalaya with Major's com- 
mand, and moved down the Fordoche and Grosse-Tete, bayous 
draining the region between the Atchafalaya and Mississippi. 
A short march brought us near the Fausse Riviere, an ancient 
bed of the Mississippi, some miles west of the present channel, 
and opposite Port Hudson. 

Halting the command on the Fordoche, I rode out to the 
estate of an acquaintance on Fausse Biviere, whence the noise 
of battle at Port Hudson could be heard. Two ladies of the 
family, recently from ISTew Orleans, told me that the Federal 
force left in the city would not exceed a thousand men ; that a 
small garrison occupied a work near Donaldsonville, where the 
Lafourche leaves the Mississippi, and with this exception there 
were no troops on the west bank of the river. From our posi- 
tion on the Fordoche to the Bayou Boeuf, in rear of the Federal 
camp at Berwick's Bay, was over a hundred miles. The route 
followed the Grosse-Tete to Plaquemine on the Mississippi, and 
to escape observation Plaquemine must be passed in the night. 
Below this point there was an interior road that reached the 
Lafourche some distance below Donaldsonville. Minute in- 
structions and guides were given to Major. 

It was now the 19th of June, and he was expected to reach 
the Bceuf on the morning of the 23d. The necessity of punctu- 
ality was impressed on him and his officers, as I would attack 



OAPTUEE OF BERWICK'S BAY. 141 

Berwick's at dawn on the 23d, and their cooperation was re- 
quired to secure success. Indeed, their own safety depended 
on promptness. The men carried rations, with some forage, 
and wagons were sent back across the Atchafalaya. Major 
moved in time to pass Plaquemine, twenty odd miles, before 
midnight, and I hastened to Mouton's camp below Bisland, 
reaching it in the afternoon of the 22d. 

Fifty-three small craft, capable of transporting three hun- 
dred men, had been collected. Detachments for the boats were 
drawn from Green's brigade and the 2d Louisiana horse. Major 
Hunter of Baylor's Texans was placed in command, with Major 
Blair of the 2d Louisiana as second. After nightfall Hunter em- 
barked his men, and paddled down the Teche to the Atchafalaya 
and Grand Lake. Fortunately, there was no wind; for the 
slightest disturbance of the lake would have swamped his fleet. 
He had about twelve miles to make, and was expected to reach 
before daylight the northeast end of the island, a mile from 
Berwick's and the railway terminus, where he was instructed to 
lie quiet until he heard General Green's guns from the west 
side of the bay, then rush on the rear of the Federal works. 
During the night Green placed a battery opposite the gunboat 
and railway station, and deployed five hundred dismounted men 
along the shores of the bay, here eight hundred yards wide. 
The battery was run up by hand, and every precaution to se- 
cure silence taken. At dawn of the 23d (June, 1863) our guns 
opened on the gunboat, and speedily drove it away. Fire was 
then directed on the earthwork, where the enemy, completely 
surprised, had some heavy pieces with which he attempted to 
reply. A shout was heard in his rear, and Hunter with his 
party came rushing on. Resistance ceased at once ; but before 
Hunter closed in, a train of three engines and many carriages 
escaped from the station toward the Bceuf, seven miles away. 
I crossed in a " pirogue " with Green, and sent back two flats 
and several skiffs found on the east side for his men, who used 
them to get over, their horses swimming alongside. 

It was a scene of the wildest excitement and confusion. 
The sight of such quantities of " loot " quite upset my hungry 



142 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION". 

followers. "Wandering through the station and warehouse, filled 
with stores, a Texan came upon a telegraphic instrument, click- 
ing in response to one down the line. Supposing this to be 
some infernal machine for our destruction, he determined to 
save his friends at the risk of his own life, and smashed the in- 
strument with his heavy boots ; then rushed among his com- 
rades, exclaiming : " Boys ! they is trying to blow us up. I 
seen the triggers a-working, but I busted 'em." 

Mouton now crossed with some infantry, and order was re- 
stored; and Green, who had brought over several scores of 
horses, mounted his men and followed the rail toward the Boeuf . 
Before reaching it he heard the noise of the train ; then, firing 
and moving forward, found the train stopped, and Major, up to 
time, in possession of the bridge. The capture of the train was 
of importance, as it enabled us to operate the thirty miles of 
rail between Berwick's and the Lafourche. 

In the combined movements described, Green and Major 
had set out from points more than a hundred miles apart, the 
latter marching through a region in possession or under control 
of the enemy, while the boat expedition of Hunter passed over 
twelve miles of water ; yet all reached their goal at the appointed 
time. Although every precaution had been taken to exclude 
mistakes and insure cooperation, such complete success is not 
often attained in combined military movements ; and I felt that 
sacrifices were due to Fortune. 

In his rapid march from the Fordoche Major captured 
seventy prisoners and burned two-steamers at Plaque mine. He 
afterward encountered no enemy until he reached Thibodeaux, 
near which place, at Lafourche Crossing, there was a stockade 
held by a small force to protect the railway bridge. Colonel 
Pyron, with two hundred men, was detached to mask or carry 
this stockade, and Major passed on to the Boeuf. Pyron's at- 
tack was repulsed with a loss of fifty-five killed and wounded, 
Pyron among the latter; but the enemy, after destroying the 
bridge, abandoned the post and three guns and retired to JSTew 
Orleans. 

The spoils of Berwick's were of vast importance. Twelve 



CAPTURE OF BERWICK'S BAY. 143 

guns, thirty-twos and twenty-fours (among which were our old 
friends from Bisland), seventeen hundred prisoners, with many 
small arms and accouterments, and great quantities of quarter- 
master's, commissary, ordnance, and medical stores, fell into our 
hands. For the first time since I reached western Louisiana I 
had supplies, and in such abundance as to serve for the Red 
River campaign of 1864. Three fourths of the prisoners were 
sick and convalescent men left here, as well as the stores, by 
General Banks, when he marched up the Teche in April. Ex- 
cepting those too ill to be moved, the prisoners were paroled 
and sent to New Orleans under charge of their surgeons. 

I was eager to place batteries on the Mississippi to interrupt 
Banks's communication with New Orleans ; but the passage of 
Berwick's Bay consumed much time, though we worked night 
and day. We were forced to dismount guns and carriages and 
cross them piecemeal in two small flats, and several days elapsed 
before a little steamer from the upper Teche could be brought 
down to assist. It must be remembered that neither artillery 
nor wagons accompanied Major's march from the Fordoche. 

On the 24th General Green, with Major's men and such of 
his own as had crossed their horses, marched for Donaldsonville, 
sixty-five miles, and General Mouton, with two regiments of 
infantry, took rail to Thibodeaux and sent pickets down the line 
to Bayou Des Allemands, twenty-five miles from New Orleans. 
Our third regiment of infantry remained at the bay, where 
Major Brent was at work mounting the captured guns on the 
southern end of the island and on the western shore opposite. 
Gunboats could stop the crossing, and entrance from the Gulf 
was open. "While we might drive off " tin-clads " the enemy 
had boats capable of resisting field guns, and it is remarkable 
that, from the 23d of June to the 22d of July, he made no at- 
tempt to disturb us at Berwick's Bay. 

General Green reached the vicinity of Donaldsonville on 
the 27th, and found an earthwork at the junction of the La- 
fourche and Mississippi. This work, called Fort Butler, had a 
ditch on three sides, and the river face was covered by gun- 
boats in the stream. The garrison was reported to be from two 



1M DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

to three hundred negro troops. After some correspondence 
with Mouton, Green determined to assault the place, and drew 
around it five hundred of his men in the night of the 27th. 
Two hours before dawn of the 28th Colonel Joseph Phillipps 
led his regiment, two hundred strong, to the attack. Darkness 
and ignorance of the ground caused much blundering. The 
levee above the fort was mistaken for the parapet, and some 
loss was sustained from the fire of gunboats. Changing direc- 
tion, Phillipps came upon the ditch, unknown to him as to 
Green, who had been deceived by false information. The ditch 
passed, Phillipps mounted the parapet and fell dead as he 
reached the top. An equally brave man, Major Ridley, worthy 
of his leader, followed, and, calling on his men to come, jumped 
into the work. Frightened by his appearance, the enemy aban- 
doned the parapet ; but finding that Ridley was alone, returned 
and captured him. A dozen men would have carried the place ; 
but the ditch afforded protection from fire, and the men, dis- 
heartened by Phillipps's death, could not be induced to leave it. 
Indeed, the largest part of our loss, ninety-seven, was made up 
of these men, who remained in the ditch until daylight and sur- 
rendered. 

The above statements are taken from the report of Major 
Ridley, made after he was exchanged. The affair was unfortu- 
nate. Open to fire from vessels on the river, Port Butler was 
of no value to us, and the feeble garrison would have remained 
under cover; but, like the Irishman at Donnybrook, Green's 
rule was to strike an enemy whenever he saw him — a most com- 
mendable rule in war, and covering a multitude of such small 
errors as the attack on Fort Butler. 

Meantime I was detained at Berwick's Bay, engaged in hur- 
rying over and forward artillery and arranging to transport the 
more valuable stores into the interior. It was not, however, 
until near the end of the first week in July that I succeeded in 
placing twelve guns on the river below Donaldsonville. Fire 
was* opened, one transport destroyed and several turned back. 
Gunboats attempted to dislodge us, but were readily driven 
away by the aid of Green's men, dismounted and protected by 



CAPTURE OF BERWICK'S BAY. 145 

the levee. For three days the river was closed to transports, 
and our mounted scouts were pushed down to a point opposite 
Kenner, sixteen miles above New Orleans. A few hours more, 
and the city would have been wild with excitement ; but in war 
time once lost can not be regained. The unwise movement 
toward Yicksburg retarded operations at Berwick's and on the 
river, and Port Hudson fell. During the night of the 10th of 
July intelligence of its surrender on the previous day reached 
me, and some hours later the fall of Yieksburg on the 4th was 
announced. 

An iron-clad or two in Berwick's Bay, and the road at Pla- 
quemine held by troops, supported by vessels in the river, would 
close all egress from the Lafourche, and the enemy could make 
arrangements to bag us at his leisure ; while Grant's army and 
Porter's fleet, now set free, might overrun the Washita and Ked 
River regions and destroy Walker's division, separated from me 
by a distance of more than three hundred miles. The outlook 
was not cheerful, but it was necessary to make the best of it, 
and at all hazards save our plunder. Batteries and outposts 
were ordered in to the Lafourche ; Green concentrated his horse 
near Donaldsonville, the infantry moved to Labadieville to sup- 
port him, and Mouton went to Berwick's, where he worked 
night and day in crossing stores to the west side of the bay. 

On the 13th of July Generals Weitzel, Grover, and D wight, 
with six thousand men, came from Port Hudson, disembarked 
at Donaldsonville, and advanced down the Lafourche. Order- 
ing up the infantry, I joined Green, but did not interfere with 
his dispositions, which were excellent. His force, fourteen hun- 
dred, including a battery, was dismounted and in line. As I 
reached the field the enemy came in sight, and Green led on 
his charge so vigorously as to drive the Federals into Donald- 
sonville, capturing two hundred prisoners, many small arms, 
and two guns, one of which was the field gun lost at Bisland. 
The affair was finished too speedily to require the assistance 
of the infantry. 

Undisturbed, we removed not only all stores from Berwick's, 
but many supplies from the abundant Lafourche country, in- 
10 



146 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

eluding a large herd of cattle driven from the prairies of Ope- 
lonsas by the Federals some weeks before. On the 21st of July 
we ran the engines and carriages on the railway into the bay, 
threw in the heavy guns, and moved up the Teche, leaving 
pickets opposite Berwick's. Twenty-four hours thereafter the 
enemy's scouts reached the bay. The timidity manifested after 
the action of the 13th may be ascribed to the fertile imagina- 
tion of the Federal commander, General Banks, which multi- 
plied my force of less than three thousand of all arms into nine 
or twelve thousand. 

In the " Report on the Conduct of the "War," vol. ii., pages 
313 and 314, General Banks states : 

" Orders had been sent to Brashear City [Berwick's] to re- 
move all stores, but to hold the position, with the aid of gun- 
boats, to the last. The enemy succeeded in crossing Grand Lake 
by means of rafts, and surprised and captured the garrison, 
consisting of about three hundred men. The enemy, greatly 
strengthened in numbers, then attacked the works at Donald- 
sonville, on the Mississippi, which were defended by a garrison 
of two hundred and twenty-five men, including convalescents, 
commanded by Major J. D. Bullen, 28th Maine volunteers. 
The attack was made on the morning of the 28th of June, and 
lasted until daylight. The garrison made a splendid defense, 
killing and wounding more than their own number, and cap- 
turing as many officers and nearly as many men as their garri- 
son numbered. The enemy's troops were under the command 
of General Green of Texas, and consisted of the Louisiana 
troops under General Taylor and five thousand Texas cavalry, 
making a force of nine to twelve thousand in that vicinity. 

" The troops engaged in these different operations left but 
four hundred men for the defense of New Orleans. Upon the 
surrender of Port Hudson it was found that the enemy had 
established batteries below, on the river, cutting off our com- 
munication with New Orleans, making it necessary to send a 
large force to dislodge them. On the 9th of July seven trans- 
ports, containing all my available force, were sent below against 
the enemy in the vicinity of Donaldson ville. The country was 



CAPTURE OF BERWICK'S BAT. 147 

speedily freed from his presence, and Brashear City [Berwick's] 
was recaptured on the 22d of July." 

Here are remarkable statements. Fourteen hundred men 
and the vast stores at Berwick's (Brashear City) are omitted, as 
is the action of the 13th of July with " all my [his] available 
force. . . . The country was speedily freed from his [my] pres- 
ence, and Brashear City reoccupied," though I remained in the 
country for eleven days after the 9th, and had abandoned 
Brashear City twenty-four hours before the first Federal scout 
made his appearance. The conduct of Major J. D. Bullen, 
2Sth Maine volunteers, with two hundred and twenty-five ne- 
groes, " including convalescents," appears to have surpassed 
that of Leonidas and his Spartans; but, like the early gods, 
modern democracies are pleased by large utterances. 

"While we were engaged in these operations on the La- 
fourche, a movement of Grant's forces from Natchez was made 
against Fort Beauregard on the Washita. The garrison of fifty 
men abandoned the place on the 3d of September, leaving four 
heavy and four field guns, with their ammunition, to be de- 
stroyed or carried off by the enemy. 



CHAPTEE X. 

MOVEMENT TO THE EED EIVEK — CAMPAIGN AGAINST BANKS. 

Recent events on the Mississippi made it necessary to con- 
centrate my small force in the immediate valley of Red River. 
Indeed, when we lost Vicksbnrg and Port Hudson, we lost not 
only control of the river but of the valley from the Washita 
and Atchaf alaya on the west to Pearl River on the east. An 
army of forty odd thousand men, with all its material, was sur- 
rendered in the two places, and the fatal consequences w<ere felt 
to the end of the struggle. The policy of shutting up large 
bodies of troops in fortifications, without a relieving army near 
at hand, can not be too strongly reprobated. Yicksburg should 
have been garrisoned by not more than twenty-five hundred 
men, and Port Hudson by a thousand. These would have been 
ample to protect the batteries against a sudden coup, and forty 
thousand men added to General Joseph Johnston's force would 
have prevented the investment of the places, or at least made 
their loss of small moment. 

After wasting three months in ineffectual attempts to divert 
the channel of the Mississippi, General Grant ran gunboats and 
transports by the batteries, and crossed the river below. In- 
stead of meeting this movement with every available man, Pem- 
berton detached General Bowen with a weak division, who 
successfully resisted the Federal advance for many hours, vainly 
calling the while for reinforcements. Pemberton then illus- 
trated the art of war by committing every possible blunder. 
He fought a series of actions with fractions against the enemy's 
masses, and finished by taking his defeated fragments into the 
Yicksburg trap. It may be stated, however, that, had he acted 



MOVEMENT TO THE RED EIVEE, ETC. 149 

wisely and kept out of Yicksburg, he would have been quite as 
much hounded as he subsequently was. 

Grant's error in undertaking an impossible w6rk cost him 
three months' time and the loss by disease of many thousands 
of his men. The event showed that he could as readily have 
crossed the river below Yicksburg at first as at last ; but, once 
over, he is entitled to credit for promptly availing himself of 
his adversary's mistakes and vigorously following him. The 
same may be said of his first success at Fort Donelson on the 
Cumberland. The terror inspired by gunboats in the first year 
of the war has been alluded to ; and at Fort Donelson General 
Grant had another potent ally. The two senior Confederate 
generals, politicians rather than warriors, retired from command 
on the approach of the enemy. One can imagine the effect of 
such conduct, unique in war, on the raw troops left behind. 
General Buckner, an educated soldier, was too heavily handi- 
capped by his worthy superiors to make a successful defense, 
and General Grant secured an easy victory. " Among the blind, 
the one-eyed are kings." 

General Grant's first essay at Belmont failed, and at Shiloh 
he was out-manoeuvred and out-fought by Sidney Johnston, 
and, indeed, he was saved from destruction by Johnston's death. 
Before he moved against Bragg at Missionary Ridge, the latter 
had detached Longstreet with a third of his force, while he 
(Grant) reenforced Thomas with most of the Yicksburg army 
and two strong corps under Hooker from the east. The histo- 
rian of the Federal Army of the Potomac states that, in reply 
to a question of General Meade, Grant said: "I never ma- 
noeuvre " ; and one has but to study the Yirginia campaign of 
1864, and imagine an exchange of resources by Grant and Lee, 
to find the true place of the former among the world's com- 
manders. He will fall into the class represented by Marshal 
Yillars and the Duke of Cumberland. 

Genius is God-given, but men are responsible for their acts ; 
and it should be said of General Grant that, as far as I am 
aware, he made war in the true spirit of a soldier, never by deed 
or word inflicting wrong on non-combatants. It would be to 



150 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

the credit of the United States army if similar statements could 
be made of Generals Sherman and Sheridan. 

Released 'at length from the swamps of the Tensas, where it 
had suffered from sickness, "Walker's division of Texas infantry 
joined me in the early autumn, and was posted to the north 
of Opelousas. Major-General J. G. Walker served as a cap- 
tain of mounted rifles in the war with Mexico. Resigning from 
the United States army to join the Confederacy, he commanded 
a division at the capture of Harper's Ferry in 1862, and in the 
subsequent battle of Antietam ; after which he was transferred 
to Arkansas. Seconded by good brigade and regimental offi- 
cers, he had thoroughly disciplined his men, and made them in 
every sense soldiers ; and their efficiency in action was soon 
established. 

On the 29th of September Green, with his horse and a part 
of Mouton's brigade of Louisiana infantry, crossed the Atcha- 
falaya at Morgan's Ferry, and attacked and routed the enemy 
on the Fordoehe, capturing four hundred and fifty prisoners 
and two guns. Green lost a hundred in killed and wounded; 
the enemy, who fought under cover, less than half that number. 

In October the Federals moved a large force of all arms up 
the Teche, their advance reaching the Courtableau. I concen- 
trated for a fight, but they suddenly retired to the Bayou Bour- 
beau, three miles south of Opelousas, where they left a consider- 
able body under General Burbridge. On the 3d of November 
Green, reenforced by three regiments of "Walker's division, was 
ordered to attack them, and they were beaten with the loss of 
six hundred prisoners. This was the first opportunity I had 
had of observing the admirable conduct of "Walker's men in 
action. Green's pursuit was stopped by the approach of heavy 
masses of the enemy from the south, who seemed content with 
the rescue of Burbridge, as they retired at once to the vicinity 
of New Iberia, fifty miles away. Green followed with a part 
of his horse, and kept his pickets close up ; but one of his regi- 
ments permitted itself to be surprised at night, on the open 
prairie near New Iberia, and lost a hundred men out of a hun- 
dred and twenty-five. So much for want of discipline and 



MOVEMENT TO THE RED EIVEE, ETC. 151 

over-confidence. General Banks's report mentions this capture, 
but is silent about Bourbeau. 

The prisoners taken at the Bourbeau were marched to the 
Bed Biver, where supplies could be had. The second day after 
the action, en route for Alexandria in an ambulance, I turned 
out of the road on to the prairie to pass the column, when I 
observed an officer, in the uniform of a colonel, limping along 
with his leg bandaged. Surprised at this, I stopped to inquire 
the reason, and was told that the colonel refused to separate 
from his men. Descending from the ambulance, I approached 
him, and, as gently as possible, remonstrated against the folly of 
walking on a wounded leg. He replied that his wound was not 
very painful, and he could keep up with the column. His regi- 
ment was from "Wisconsin, recruited among his neighbors and 
friends, and he was very unwilling to leave it. I insisted on his 
riding with me, for a time at least, as we would remain on the 
road his men were following. With much reluctance he got 
into the ambulance, and we drove on. For some miles he was 
silent, but, avoiding subjects connected with the war, I put him 
at ease, and before Alexandria was reached we were conversing 
pleasantly. Impressed by his bearing and demeanor, I asked 
him in what way I could serve him, and learned that he desired 
to send a letter to his wife in Wisconsin, who was in delicate- 
health and expecting to be confined. She would hear of the- 
capture of his regiment, and be uncertain as to his fate. " You 
shall go to the river to-night," I replied, "catch one of your- 
steamers, and take home the assurance of your safety. Bemain) on 
parole until you can send me an officer of equal rank, and I will: 
look to the comfort of your men and have them exchanged at 
the earliest moment." His manly heart was so affected by this 
as to incapacitate him from expressing his thanks. 

During the administration of Andrew Johnson a convention 
met in the city of Bhiladelphia which, at the earnest instance 
of the Bresident, I attended. The gallant Wisconsin colonel 
was also there to lend his assistance in healing the wounds of 
civil strife. My presence in the city of brotherly love furnished 
an occasion to a newspaper to denounce me as "a rebel who, , 



J52 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

with hands dripping with loyal blood, had the audacity to show 
myself in a loyal community." Whereupon my "Wisconsin 
friend, accompanied by a number of persons from his State, 
called on me to express condemnation of the article in question, 
and was ready, with the slightest encouragement, to make the 
newspaper office a hot place. This was the difference between 
brave soldiers and non-fighting politicians, who grew fat by in- 
flaming the passions of sectional hate. 

The ensuing winter of 1863-4 was without notable events. 
Control of the Mississippi enabled the enemy to throw his 
forces upon me from above and below Red River, and by gun- 
boats interfere with my movements along this stream ; and as 
soon as the Lafourche campaign ended, steps were taken to pro- 
vide against these contingencies. Twenty miles south of Alex- 
andria a road leaves the Boauf , an effluent of Red River, and 
passes through pine forest to Burr's Ferry on the Sabine. Twen- 
ty odd miles from the Boeuf this road intersects another from 
Opelousas to Fort Jesup, an abandoned military post, thence to 
Pleasant Hill, Mansfield, and Shreveport. At varying distances 
of twelve to thirty miles the valley of the Red River is an arc, 
of which this last-mentioned road is the chord, and several 
routes from the valley cross to ferries on the Sabine above 
Burr's. But the country between the Boeuf and Pleasant Hill, 
ninety miles, was utterly barren, and depots of forage, etc., 
were necessary before troops could march through it. With 
great expenditure of time and labor depots were established, 
with small detachments to guard them ; and events proved that 
the time and labor were well bestowed. 

Movements of the Federals along the west coast of Texas 
in November induced General Kirby Smith to withdraw from 
me Green's command of Texas horse, and send it to Galveston. 
This left me with but one mounted regiment, Vincent's 2d 
Louisiana, and some independent companies, which last were 
organized into two regiments — one, on the Washita, by Colonel 
Harrison, the other, on 1 the Teche, by Colonel Bush ; but they 
were too raw to be effective in the approaching campaign. 
Mouton's brigade of Louisiana infantry could be recruited to 



MOVEMENT TO THE EED KIVER, ETC. 153 

some extent ; but the Texas infantry received no recruits, and 
was weakened by the ordinary casualties of camp lif e, as well 
as by the action of the Shreveport authorities. The commander 
of the " Trans-Mississippi Department " displayed much ardor 
in the establishment of bureaux, and on a scale proportioned 
rather to the extent of his territory than to the smallness of his 
force. His staff surpassed in numbers that of Yon Moltke dur- 
ing the war with France ; and, to supply the demands of bureaux 
and staff, constant details from the infantry were called for, to 
the great discontent of the officers in the field. Hydrocephalus 
at Shreveport produced atrophy elsewhere. Extensive works 
for defense were constructed there, and heavy guns mounted ; 
and, as it was known that I objected to fortifications beyond 
mere water batteries, for reasons already stated, the chief engi- 
neer of the " department " was sent to Fort De Bussy to build 
an iron-casemated battery and other works. We shall see what 
became of De Bussy. 

In the winter there joined me from Arkansas a brigade of 
Texas infantry, numbering seven hundred muskets. The men 
had been recently dismounted, and were much discontented 
thereat. Prince Charles Polignac, a French gentleman of an- 
cient lineage, and a brigadier in the Confederate army, reported 
for duty about the same time, and was assigned to command 
this brigade. The Texans swore that a Frenchman, whose very 
name they could not pronounce, should never command them, 
and mutiny was threatened. I went to their camp, assembled 
the officers, and pointed out the consequences of disobedience, 
for which I should hold them accountable ; but promised that 
if they remained dissatisfied with their new commander after 
an action, I would then remove him. Order was restored, but 
it was up-hill work for General Polignac for some time, not- 
withstanding his patience and good temper. The incongruity 
of the relation struck me, and I thought of sending my monte- 
dealing Texas colonel to Paris, to command a brigade of the 
Imperial Guard. 

In the first weeks of 1864 the enemy sent a gunboat expe- 
dition up the "Washita, an,d Polignac's brigade, with a battery, 



154 DESTRUCTION" AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

was moved to Trinity to meet it. The gunboats were driven 
off, and Polignac, by his coolness under fire, gained the con- 
fidence of his men, as he soon gained their affections by his 
care and attention. They got on famously, and he made capi- 
tal soldiers out of them. General Polignac returned to Europe 
in 1865, and as he had shown great gallantry and talent for war 
while serving with me, I hoped that he might come to the front 
during the struggle with Germany ; but he belonged to that 
race of historic gentry whose ancestors rallied to the white 
plume of Henry at Ivry, and followed the charge of Conde at 
Rocroy. Had he been a shopkeeper or scribbling attorney, he 
might have found favor with the dictator who ruled France. 

All the information received during the months of January 
and February, 1864, indicated a movement against me in the 
early spring ; and in the latter month it was ascertained that 
Porter's fleet and a part of Sherman's army from Yicksburg 
would join Banks's forces in the movement, while Steele would 
cooperate from Little Rock, Arkansas. This information was 
communicated to department headquarters, and I asked that 
prompt measures should be taken to reenf orce me ; but it was 
" a far cry " to Shreveport as to " Lochow," and the emergency 
seemed less pressing in the rear than at the front. 

The end of February found my forces distributed as fol- 
lows : Harrison's mounted regiment (just organized), with a four- 
gun battery, was in the north, toward Monroe ; Mouton's brigade 
near Alexandria; Polignac's at Trinity on the Washita, fifty- 
five miles distant ; Walker's division at Marksville and toward 
Simmsport on the Atchafalaya, with two hundred men under 
Colonel Byrd detached to assist the gunners at De Russy, which, 
yet unfinished, contained eight heavy guns and two field pieces. 
Walker had three companies of Yincent's horse on the east side 
of the Atchafalaya, watching the Mississippi. The remainder 
of Yincent's regiment was on the Teche. 

Increased activity and concentration at Berwick's Bay, and 
a visit of Sherman to New Orleans to confer with Banks, warned 
me of the impending blow ; and on the 7th of March Polignac 
was ordered to move at once to Alexandria, and thence, with 



MOVEMENT TO THE KED RIVER, ETC. 155 

Mouton's brigade, to the Bceuf, twenty-five miles south. Har- 
rison was directed to get his regiment and battery to the west 
bank of the "Washita, gather to him several independent local 
companies of horse, and report to General Liddel, sent to com- 
mand on the north bank of Red River, whence he was to harass 
the enemy's advance up that stream. Yincent was ordered to 
leave flying scouts on the Teche and move his regiment, with 
such men as Bush had recruited, to Opelousas, whence he after- 
ward joined me on the Burr's Ferry road. At Alexandria 
steamers were loaded with stores and sent above the falls, and 
everything made ready to evacuate the place. These arrange- 
ments were not completed a moment too soon. 

On March 12th Admiral Porter, with nineteen gunboats, 
followed by ten thousand men of Sherman's army, entered the 
mouth of Red River. (These numbers are from Federal official 
reports.) On the 13th, under cover of a part of the fleet, the 
troops debarked at Simmsport, on the Atchaf alaya near the Red, 
other vessels ascending the latter stream, and on the 14th, under 
command of General A. J. Smith, marched to De Russy, thirty 
.miles, which they reached about 5 p.m. As stated, the work 
was incomplete, and had time been given me would have been 
abandoned. Attacked in the rear, the garrison surrendered after 
losing ten killed and wounded. Byrd's two hundred men were 
in rifle pits on the river below, where gunboats, under Com- 
mander Phelps, were removing obstructions in the channel. A 
number of Byrd's men and a few gunners escaped to the swamps 
and rejoined their commands ; but we lost a hundred and eighty- 
five prisoners, eight heavy guns, and two field pieces. Thus 
much for our Red River Gibraltar. 

Out off from direct communication by the sudden appear- 
ance of the enemy on the 12th, the three mounted companies 
east of the Atchafalaya were forced to cross at Morgan's Ferry, 
below Simmsport, and did not rejoin "Walker until the 15th. 
This officer was thereby left without means of information; 
but, judging correctly of the numbers of the enemy by a per- 
sonal observation of his transports and fleet, he fell back from 
his advanced position to the Boeuf, forty miles, where he was 



156 DESTRUCTION AND EECONSTEUCTION. 

united with Mouton and Polignac. His division at this time 
was reduced to some thirty-three hundred muskets, too weak to 
make head against A. J. Smith's column. 

On the afternoon of the 15th of March the advanced boats 
of Porter's fleet reached Alexandria, whence all stores had been 
removed ; but, by the mismanagement of a pilot, one steamer 
was grounded on the falls and had to be burned. 

In the " Report on the Conduct of the War," vol. ii., page 
192, Colonel J. S. Clarke, aide-de-camp to General Banks, states 
that Banks's army in this campaign was twenty-eight thousand 
strong, eighteen thousand under Franklin, ten thousand under 
A. J. Smith. General Steele, operating from Arkansas, reports 
his force at seven thousand ; and the number of gunboats given 
is taken from the reports of Admiral Porter to the Secretary of 
the Navy. 

To meet Porter and A. J. Smith, Major-General Franklin 
had left the lower Teche on the 13th for Alexandria, with 
eighteen thousand men. My entire force on the south side of 
Red River consisted of fifty-three hundred infantry, five hun- 
dred horse, and three hundred 'artillerymen ; and Liddel, on the 
north, had about the same number of horse and a four-gun bat- 
tery. From Texas, if at all, the delayed reinforcements must 
come, and it was vital to cover the roads from the Sabine. 

From the Boeuf, on the 16th, I marched on the Burr's Ferry 
road to Carroll Jones's, which was reached on the evening of 
the 18th. Here, where the Burr's Ferry and Natchitoches roads 
separated, was a depot of forage, and I camped. 

Polignac's and the Louisiana brigade, under Colonel Gray, 
were united in a division for General Mouton. Yincent's horse, 
from Opelousas, joined on the 19th, and on the following day 
was sent forward to the Bayou Rapides, twelve miles, where it 
skirmished with the enemy's horse from Alexandria, twenty 
miles below. At dawn of the 21st Edgar's battery, four guns, 
was sent to strengthen Vincent, and posted in a strong position 
near James's Store, where it overlooked and commanded the 
valley. 

Meanwhile, couriers were dispatched to the Sabine to inform 



MOVEMENT TO THE EED EIVER, ETC. 15 7 

approaching reinforcements of my position, and direct them on 
to the Fort Jesup road. The 21st proved to be a cold, rainy day, 
with gusts of wind. Toward evening the sonnd of Edgar's gims 
was heard. Fearing a surprise during the night, Captain Elgee 
of my staff was sent to withdraw the battery and warn Yincent 
of the necessity of vigilance ; but the enemy had been too 
prompt. Vincent's pickets found their fires more agreeable 
than outposts. At nightfall the battery and a number of the 
horse were captured, as was Captain Elgee, who rode up just 
after the event. We lost the four guns, with their caissons, and 
two hundred men. Yincent, with the remainder of his com- 
mand escaped. In truth, my horse was too ill disciplined for 
close work. On the 22d we marched to Beaseley's, twelve 
miles, and remained until the 29th, hoping that reinforcements 
would reach us. Beaseley's was a depot of forage, and covered 
roads to Fort Jesup and Natchitoches ; and a cross road reached 
the Ked River valley at a point twenty -five miles below the 
latter place, by which some supplies were obtained. As no 
reenforcements arrived, and the enemy was moving up the 
river, the troops were ordered to Pleasant Hill via Fort Jesup, 
forty miles, and I went to Natchitoches, thirty miles. Here, 
on the night of the 30th, I met Colonel McNeill's regiment of 
Texas horse, numbering two hundred and fifty men, of whom 
fifty were without arms ; and the following morning Colonel 
Herbert came in, with a hundred and twenty-five of his three 
hundred and fifty men unarmed. These were a part of Green's 
command, and the first reenforcements received. 

The enemy's advance reached Natchitoches, by the river 
road, on the 31st, and McNeill and Herbert were directed to 
fall back slowly toward Pleasant Hill, thirty-six miles. I re- 
mained in the town until the enemy entered, then rode four 
miles to Grand Ecore, where, in the main channel of Eed Eiver, 
a steamer was awaiting me. Embarking, I went up river to 
Blair's Landing, forty miles by the windings of the stream, 
whence was a road, sixteen miles, to Pleasant Hill. Four miles 
from Blair's was Bayou Pierre, a large arm of the river, crossed 
by a ferry. At Pleasant Hill, on the 1st of April, "Walker and 



158 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

Mouton, with their infantry divisions, artillery, and trains joined 
me, as did Green with his staff. From the latter I learned that 
De Bray's regiment of cavalry, with two batteries and trains, 
was in march from Fort Jesnp. As the enemy was moving 
from Natchitoches, and could strike the Jesnp road across coun- 
try, De Bray was ordered to push forward his artillery and 
wagons, and look well to his right. He reached Pleasant Hill 
after dark. The enemy attempted to impede the march, but 
was driven off, with a loss of five wounded to De Bray. During 
the day our horse, toward Natchitoches, had some skirmishing. 

It appeared that General Major, with the remainder of 
Green's horse, could not get up before the 6th, and he was 
directed to cross the Sabine at Logansport and march to Mans- 
field, twenty miles in my rear. This insured his march against 
disturbance ; and, to give him time, I halted two days at Pleas- 
ant Hill, prepared for action. But the enemy showed no dis- 
position to advance seriously, and on the 4th and 5th the infan- 
try moved to Mansfield, where on the following day Major, 
with his horse and Buchell's regiment of cavalry, joined. Gen- 
eral Major was sent to Pleasant Hill to take charge of the ad- 
vance. 

De Bray's and Buchell's regiments have been spoken of as 
cavalry to distinguish them from mounted infantry, herein 
called horse. They haei never before left their State (Texas), 
were drilled and disciplined, and armed with sabers. Buchell's 
regiment was organized in the German settlement of New 
Braunfels. The men had a distinct idea that they were fight- 
ing for their adopted country, and their conduct in battle was 
in marked contrast to that of the Germans whom I had encoun- 
tered in the Federal army in Virginia. Colonel Buchell had 
served in the Prussian army, and was an instructed soldier. 
Three days after he joined me, he was mortally wounded in 
action, and survived but a few hours. I sat beside him as his 
brave spirit passed away. The old " Fatherland " sent no bolder 
horseman to battle at Kossbach or Gravelotte. 

During this long retreat of two hundred miles from the 
banks of the Atchaf alaya to Mansfield, I had been in correspond- 



MOVEMENT TO THE RED RIVER, ETC. 159 

ence with General Kirby Smith at Shreveport, and always ex- 
pressed my intention to fight as soon as reenforcements reached 
me. General Kirby Smith thought that I would be too weak 
to meet the enemy, even with all possible reenforcements, and 
suggested two courses : one, to hold the works at Shreveport 
until he could concentrate a force to relieve me ; the other, to 
retire into Texas and induce the enemy to follow us. 

My objection to the first suggestion was, that it would result 
in the surrender of the troops and Shreveport, as it would be 
impossible to raise a new force for their relief ; and to the sec- 
ond, that its consequences would be quite as disastrous as a de- 
feat, as it would be an abandonment of Louisiana and southern 
Arkansas. The men from these States might be expected to 
leave us, and small blame to them ; while from the interior of 
Texas we could give no more aid to our brethren on the east of 
the Mississippi than from the Sandwich Islands. General Kir- 
by Smith did not insist on the adoption of either of his own 
suggestions, nor express an approval of mine ; but when Mans- 
field was reached, a decision became necessary. 

Three roads lead from this place to Shreveport, the King- 
ston, Middle, and Keachi. The distance by the first, the one 
nearest to the valley of Red River, is thirty-eight miles ; by the 
second, forty ; and by the third, forty-five. From Keachi, five 
and twenty miles from Mansfield and twenty from Shreveport, 
roads cross the Sabine into Texas. Past Mansfield, then, the 
enemy would have three roads, one of which would be near his 
fleet on the river, and could avail himself of his great superior- 
ity in numbers. This was pointed out to the " Aulic Council " 
at Shreveport, but failed to elicit any definite response. 

On the 21st of March there had reached Shreveport, from 
Price's command in Arkansas, two brigades of Missouri infantry 
and two of Arkansas, numbering together forty-four hundred 
muskets. These troops I had repeatedly asked for, but they 
were retained at Shreveport until the afternoon of the 4th of 
April, when they marched to Keachi, and reported to me from 
that place on the morning of the 6th. Supplies were far from 
abundant in the vicinity of Mansfield ; and as I might at any 



160 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

moment receive an order to retire to Keachi, they were directed 
to remain there for the present. Green, now promoted to ma- 
jor-general, was placed in command of all the horse, with Brig- 
adiers Bee, Major, and Bagby under him. 

On the morning of the 7th of April, Major, from Pleasant 
Hill, reported the enemy advancing in force ; whereupon Green 
went to the front. Later in the day the southerly wind brought 
such distinct sounds of firing to Mansfield as to induce me to 
join Green. Riding hard, I suddenly met some fifty men from 
the front, and reined up to speak to them ; but, before I could 
open my mouth, received the following rebuke from one of the 
party for a bad habit : " General ! if you won't curse us, we 
will go back with you." I bowed to the implied homily, rode 
on, followed by the men, and found Green fighting a superior 
force of horse. Putting in my little reenforcement, I joined 
him, and enjoyed his method of managing his wild horsemen ; 
and he certainly accomplished more with them than any one 
else could have done. After some severe work, the enemy's 
progress was arrested, and it became evident that Green could 
camp that night at a mill stream seven miles from Pleasant Hill, 
a matter of importance. 

The roads in this region follow the high ridge dividing the 
drainage of Red River from that of the Sabine, and water is 
very scarce. Between Pleasant Hill and Mansfield but two 
streams are found, the one above mentioned, and a smaller, seven 
miles nearer to the latter place. For twenty miles from Pleas- 
ant Hill toward Natchitoches there was little or no water ; anc 
at Pleasant Hill itself we had exhausted the wells and reduced 
the store in cisterns during our stay. This, as it affected move- 
ments and positions of troops, should be borne in mind. 

Leaving Green, I returned to Mansfield, stopping on the 
road to select my ground for the morrow. This was in the edge 
of a wood, fronting an open field eight hundred yards in width 
by twelve hundred in length, through the center of which the 
road to Pleasant Hill passed. On the opposite side of the field 
was a fence separating it from the pine forest, which, oj»en on 
the higher ground and filled with underwood on the lower. 



MOVEMENT TO THE RED RIVER, ETC. 161 

spread over the country. The position was three miles in front 
of Mansfield, and covered a cross-road leading to the Sabine. 
On either side of the main Mansfield-Pleasant Hill road, at two 
miles' distance, was a road parallel to it and connected by this 
Sabine cross-road. 

General Churchill, commanding the Missouri- Arkansas troops 
at Keachi, was ordered to march for Mansfield at dawn of the 
8th, and advised that a battle was impending. My medical di- 
rector was instructed to prepare houses in the village for hospi- 
tals, and quartermasters were told to collect supplies and park 
surplus wagons. An officer with a small guard was selected to 
preserve order in the town, and especially among the wagoners, 
always disposed to " stampede." "Walker and Mouton were or- 
dered to move their divisions in the morning, ready for action, 
to the position selected ; and a staff officer was sent to Green, 
with instructions to leave a small force in front of the enemy, 
and before dawn withdraw to the appointed ground. These ar- 
rangements made, a dispatch was sent to General Kirby Smith 
at Shreveport, informing him that I had returned from the 
front, found the enemy advancing in force, and would give bat- 
tle on the following day, April 8, 1864, unless positive orders to 
the contrary were sent to me. This was about 9 p. m. of 
the 7th. 

My confidence of success in the impending engagement was 
inspired by accurate knowledge of the Federal movements, as 
well as the character of their commander, General Banks, whose 
measure had been taken in the Virginia campaigns of 1862 and" 
since. 

On the morning of the 7th of April Admiral Porter left 
Grand Ecore with six gunboats and twenty transports, on which 
last were embarked some twenty-five hundred troops. The prog- 
ress of these vessels up the river was closely watched by an 
officer of my staff, who was also in communication with Gen^ 
eral Liddel on the north side. Banks began his movement from 
Grand Ecore to Pleasant Hill on the 6th, with an estimated 
force of twenty-five thousand. Though lateral roads existed, his 
column marched by the main one, and in the following, order; 
11 



162 . DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

Five thousand mounted men led the advance, followed by a large 
wagon train and much artillery. Infantry succeeded, then more 
wagons and artillery,' then infantry again. In the afternoon of 
the Yth I knew that the front and rear of his column were sepa- 
rated by a distance of twenty miles. 

My troops reached the position in front of Sabine cross-road 
at an early hour on the 8th, and were disposed as follows : On 
the right of the road to Pleasant Hill, "Walker's infantry divi- 
sion of three brigades, with two batteries ; on the left, Mouton's, 
of two brigades and two batteries. As Green's men came in 
from the front, they took position, dismounted, on Mouton's 
left. A regiment of horse was posted on each of the parallel 
roads mentioned, and De Bray's cavalry, with McMahon's bat- 
tery, held in reserve on the main road. Dense forest prevented 
the employment of much artillery, and, with the exception of 
McMahon's, which rendered excellent service, none was used in 
the action. 

I had on the field fifty-three hundred infantry, three thou- 
sand horse, and five hundred artillerymen — in all, eight thousand 
eight hundred men, a very full estimate. But the vicious dis- 
positions of the enemy made me confident of beating all the 
force he could concentrate during the day ; and on the morrow 
Churchill, with forty-four hundred muskets, would be up. 

The forenoon of the 8th wore on as the troops got into po- 
sition. Riding along the line, I stopped in front of the Loui- 
siana brigade of Mouton's division, and made what proved to be 
an unfortunate remark to the men : " As they were fighting in 
defense of their own soil I wished the Louisiana troops to draw 
the first blood." But they were already inflamed by many out- 
rages on their homes, as well as by camp rumors that it was 
intended to abandon their State without a fight. At this mo- 
ment our advanced horse came rushing in, hard followed by the 
enemy. A shower of bullets reached Mouton's line, one of 
which struck my horse, and a body of mounted men charged up 
to the front of the 18th Louisiana. A volley from this regi- 
ment sent them back with heavy loss. Infantry was reported 
in the wood opposite my left. This was a new disposition of 



MOVEMENT TO THE BED EIVER, ETC. 163 

the enemy, for on the 6th and 7th his advance consisted of horse 
alone ; and to meet it, Mouton was strengthened by moving 
Eandall's brigade of "Walker's from the right to the left of the 
road. To cover this change, skirmishers were thrown forward 
and De Bray's regiment deployed in the field. 

The enemy showing no disposition to advance, at 4 p. m. I 
ordered a forward movement of my whole line. The ardor of 
Mouton's troops, especially the Louisianians, could not be re- 
strained by their officers. Crossing the field under a heavy fire 
of artillery and small arms, the division reached the fence, 
paused for a moment to draw breath, then rushed into the wood 
on the enemy. Here our loss was severe. General Mouton was 
killed, as were Colonels Armand, Beard, and Walker, command- 
ing the 18th, Crescent, and 28th Louisiana regiments of Gray's 
brigade. Major Canfield of the Crescent also fell, and Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Clack of the same regiment was mortally wounded. 
As these officers went down, others, among whom Adjutant 
Blackman was conspicuous, seized the colors and led on the 
men. Polignac's brigade, on the left of Gray's, also suffered 
heavily. Colonel ISToble, 17th Texas, with many others, was 
killed. Polignac, left in command by the death of Mouton, 
displayed ability and pressed the shattered division steadily for- 
ward. Randall, with his fine brigade, supported him on the 
right ; while Major's dismounted men, retarded by dense wood, 
much to the impatience of General Green, gradually turned the 
enemy's right, which was forced back with loss of prisoners and 
guns. 

On the right of the main road General Walker, with Waul's 
and Scurry's brigades, encountered but little resistance until he 
had crossed the open field and entered the wood. Finding that 
he outflanked the enemy's left, he kept his right brigade, Scur- 
ry's, advanced, and swept everything before him. 

The first Federal line, consisting of all the mounted force 
and one division of the 13th army corps, was in full flight, leav- 
ing prisoners, guns, and wagons in our hands. Two miles to 
the rear of the first position, the 2d division of the 13th corps 
was brought up, but was speedily routed, losing guns and pri- 



9 



164 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION 

goners; and our advance continued. Kear sunset, four miles 
from our original position, the 19th army corps was found, 
drawn up on a ridge overlooking a small stream. Fatigued, 
and disordered by their long advance through dense wood, my 
men made no impression for a time on this fresh body of troops ; 
but possession of the water was all-important, for there was none 
other between this and Mansfield. "Walker, Green, and Poli- 
gnac led on their weary men, and I rode down to the stream. 
There was some sharp work, but we persisted, the enemy fell 
back, and the stream was held, just as twilight faded into dark- 
ness. 

Twenty-five hundred prisoners, twenty pieces of artillery, 
several stands of colors, many thousands of small arms, and two 
hundred and fifty wagons were the fruits of victory in the bat- 
tle of Mansfield. Eight thousand of the enemy, his horse and 
two divisions of infantry, had been utterly routed, and over five 
thousand of the 19th corps driven back at sunset. "With a 
much smaller force on the field, we invariably outnumbered the 
enemy at the fighting point ; and foreseeing the possibility of 
this, I was justified in my confidence of success. The defeat 
of the Federal army was largely due to the ignorance and arro- 
gance of its commander, General Banks, who attributed my 
long retreat to his own wonderful strategy. 

ISTight put an end to the struggle along the little stream, and 
my troops camped by the water. 

A dispatch was sent to General Kirby Smith, at Shreveport, 
to inform him of the result of the day's fighting, and of my 
intention to push the enemy on the following morning. Leav- 
ing instructions for Green, with all the mounted force, to pur- 
sue at dawn, I rode to Mansfield to look after our wounded and 
meet Churchill. The precautions taken had preserved order in 
the village throughout the day. Hospitals had been prepared, 
the wounded brought in and cared for, prisoners and captured 
property disposed of. Churchill came and reported his com- 
mand in camp, four miles from Mansfield, on the Keachi road ; 
and he was directed to prepare two days' rations, and march 
toward Pleasant Hill at 3 a. m. 



MOVEMENT TO THE RED RIVER, ETC. 165 

Sitting by my camp fire to await the movement of Church- 
ill's column, I was saddened by recollection of the many dead, 
and the pleasure of victory was turned to grief as I counted the 
fearful cost at which it had been won. Of the Louisianians 
fallen, most were acquaintances, many had been neighbors and 
friends ; and they were gone. Above all, the death of gallant 
Mouton affected me. He had joined me soon after I reached 
western Louisiana, and had ever proved faithful to duty. Mod' 
dest, unselfish, and patriotic, he showed best in action, always 
leading his men. I thought of his wife and children, and of 
his father, Governor Mouton, whose noble character I have at- 
tempted to portray. 

Churchill's march disturbed these solemn reveries, and I re- 
turned to the front, where Walker and Green were awaiting the 
approaching day. The horse, with a battery, moved early to 
Pleasant Hill, fourteen miles, leaving "Walker and Polignac to 
follow Churchill's column as soon as it had passed. I rode with 
Green, and we found many stragglers, scattered arms, and burn- 
ing wagons, showing the haste of the enemy's retreat. The 
mill stream, seven miles distant, was reached, then the vicinity 
of Pleasant Hill, before a shot was fired. A short mile in front 
of the latter place the enemy was found ; and as our rapid ad- 
vance had left the infantry far to the rear, feints were made to 
the right and left to develop his position and strength. 

The village of Pleasant Hill occupies part of a plateau, a 
mile wide from east to west, along the Mansfield and Fort Jesup 
road. The highest ground, called College Hill, is on the west, 
and here enters a road from the Sabine, which, sixteen miles to 
the east, strikes the Ked Eiver at Blair's Landing ; while, from 
the necessity of turning Spanish Lake, the distance to Natchi- 
toches and Grand Ecore is thirty-six miles. The Federal fleet, 
with accompanying troops, was now many miles above Blair's, 
which by river is forty-five miles above Grand Ecore. Driven 
from Pleasant Hill to the latter place, the Federal forces would 
be widely separated, and might be destroyed in detail. Though 
it appeared to be the enemy's intention to continue his retreat, 
as he was known to be moving back his trains, yet if undis- 



166 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION". 

turbed he might find courage to attempt a junction with his 
fleet at Blair's Landing ; and I did not wish to lose the advantage 
of the morale gained by success on the previous day. 

Our reconnoissance showed that the Federal lines extended 
across the open plateau, from College Hill on their left to a 
wooded height on the right of the road to Mansfield. Winding 
along in front of this position was a gully cut by winter rains, 
but now dry, and bordered by a thick growth of young pines, 
with fallen timber interspersed. This was held by the enemy's 
advanced infantry, with his main line and guns on the plateau. 
Separating the gully and thicket from the forest toward Mans- 
field was an open field, several hundred yards wide near the 
road, but diminishing in width toward the west. Here the 
Federal commander had concentrated some eighteen thousand, 
including A. J. Smith's force, not engaged on the previous 
day. 

My plan of attack was speedily determined. Orders were 
sent to the infantry to fill canteens at the mill stream, and to 
the trains to park there. Shortly after midday the infantry 
appeared, Churchill in advance ; but a glance showed that his 
men were too much exhausted to attack. They had marched 
forty-five miles, and were thoroughly jaded. "Walker's and Po- 
lignac's divisions had been heavily engaged on the previous day, 
and all were suffering from heat and thirst. Accordingly, two 
hours were given to the troops to lie down and rest. 

At 3 p. m. Churchill, with two batteries and three regiments 
of horse, was directed to move to the right and turn the enemy's 
left. His route was through the forest for two miles to the 
road coming from the Sabine. The enemy's left outflanked, 
he was to attack from the south and west, keeping his regiments 
of horse well to his right, and Walker would attack on his left. 
This was explained to Churchill, and Mr. T. J. Williams, for- 
merly sheriff of De Soto parish, and acquainted with every road 
in the vicinity, was sent with him as a guide. On Walker's 
left, near the road from Mansfield, Major Brent had twelve 
guns in the wood, with four on the road, where were posted 
Buchell's and De Bray's cavalry, under General Bee, and Poli- 



MOVEMENT TO THE EED RIVER, ETC. 167 

gnac's division, the last in reserve. In the wood on the left of 
the road from Mansfield, Major, with two brigades of horse 
dismounted, was to drive hack the enemy's skirmishers, tnrn 
his right, and gain the road to Blair's Landing. As no offen- 
sive movement by the enemy was anticipated, he would be 
turned on both flanks, subjected to a concentric fire, and over- 
whelmed. Though I had but twelve thousand five hundred 
men against eighteen thousand in position, the morale was 
greatly in our favor, and intelligent execution of orders was 
alone necessary to insure success. 

At 4.30 p. m. Churchill was reported to be near the position 
whence he would attack ; and, to call off attention, Major Brent 
advanced his twelve guns into the field, within seven hundred 
yards of the enemy's line, and opened fire. Soon thereafter 
the sound of Churchill's attack was heard, which the cheers of 
his men proved to be successful. Walker at once led forward 
his division by echelons of brigades from his right, Brent ad- 
vanced his guns, and Major turned the enemy's right and gained 
possession of the road to Blair's. Complete victory seemed 
assured when Churchill's troops suddenly gave way, and for a 
time arrested the advance of Walker and Major. 

The road from the Sabine reached, Churchill formed his line 
with the two Missouri brigades, General Parsons on the right, 
and the two Arkansas, General Tappan, on the left. Advanc- 
ing three fourths of a mile through the forest, he approached 
the enemy's line, and found that he had not gained ground 
enough to outflank it. Throwing forward skirmishers, he moved 
by the right flank until the Missouri brigades were on the right 
of the Sabine road, the regiments of horse being farther to the 
right. Churchill should have placed his whole command on 
the right of the Sabine road, and he would have found no diffi- 
culty in successfully executing his orders. In his official report 
he states " that had my [his] line extended a half mile more to 
the right, a brilliant success would have been achieved " ; and 
he gives as the reason for not so disposing his force that he 
judged, from information furnished by his guides, the enemy's 
left to be already outflanked. 



168 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

The attack ordered, the Missourians threw themselves on 
the enemy, drove him from the gully and thicket, mounted the 
plateau, broke an opposing line, captured and sent to the rear 
three hundred prisoners, got possession of two batteries, the 
horses of which had been killed, and reached the village. Here 
a Federal brigade, left by Churchill's error on his right, attacked 
them in flank and rear, while their rapid charge had put three 
hundred yards between them and the Arkansas brigades, delayed 
by the gully. The enemy's reserve was thrust into this opening 
and advanced in front. Finding themselves assaulted on all 
sides, the Missourians retreated hastily, and in repassing the 
gully and thicket fell into much confusion. Colonel Hardiman, 
commanding the horse, checked the enemy, and Parsons rallied 
his men on the line first formed by Churchill. The Arkansas 
brigades had forced the gully and mounted the plateau as the 
Missourians retreated, whereupon they fell back, their left bri- 
gade (Gause's) running into "Walker's right (Scurry's) and im- 
peding its advance. Gause imagined that Scurry had fired on 
him ; but as his entire loss in the action amounted to but fifteen 
killed and fifty-nine wounded, out of eleven hundred men, there 
appears little ground for this belief. Churchill's two batteries 
followed the Missourians, and with much difficulty reached the 
plateau, where they opened an effective fire. When the infantry 
retreated three carriages broke down in the attempt to get 
through the thicket and fallen timber, and the guns were lost. 
Night ended the conflict on this part of the field, and both sides 
occupied their original positions. We brought off three hun- 
dred prisoners, but lost three guns and one hundred and seventy- 
nine prisoners from Churchill's command. Out of two thousand 
men, the Missourians lost three hundred and thirty-one in killed 
and wounded, and the Arkansas brigades, of equal strength, one 
hundred and forty-two. 

Within a few minutes of the time when our whole line be- 
came engaged, an officer came to inform me that General Walker 
was wounded. Directing Polignac to move up his division and 
hold it in readiness, I left General Green in charge of the center 
and hastened to Walker, whose division was now fully engaged 



MOVEMENT TO THE BED RIVER, ETC. 169 

in the wood. I found him suffering from a contusion in the 
groin, and ordered him to retire, which he unwillingly did. 
Here it was that our right gave way in the manner described. 
Scurry's brigade of Walker's, disordered by the sudden retreat 
upon it of Gause, was heavily pressed by the enemy. Scurry 
and his men struggled gallantly, but required immediate relief ; 
and to give it, Waul and Randall on their left were ordered to 
drive back the line fronting them. Never was order more thor- 
oughly executed. Leading on their fine brigades with skill and 
energy, these officers forced back the Federals and relieved 
Scurry. 

Meanwhile, the fire of Brent's guns had overpowered a Fed- 
eral battery posted on the plateau in front of the road from 
Mansfield. The confusion attending the withdrawal of this bat- 
tery, coupled with the fierce attack of Waul and Randall, led 
General Green to believe that the enemy was retreating, and 
he ordered Bee to charge with his two regiments of cavalry, 
Buchell's and De Bray's. Bee reached the plateau, where he 
was stopped by a heavy fire from infantry, in the wood on both 
sides of the road. Some men and horses went down, Buchell 
was mortally wounded, and Bee and De Bray slightly. The 
charge was premature and cost valuable lives, but was of use in 
moral effect. I returned to the road as Bee, with coolness and 
pluck, withdrew. Brent advanced his guns close up to the 
opposing line, Polignac attacked on Randall's left with his re- 
duced but stubborn division, and Green urged on his dismounted 
horsemen, cleared the wood from the Mansfield to the Blair's 
Landing road, and at nightfall held the position previously 
occupied by the Federal battery. 

Severe fighting continued in the dense thicket, where Poli- 
gnac, Randall, Waul, and Scurry were steadily driving back the 
enemy. Approaching twilight obscured the wood, but resist- 
ance in front was becoming feeble, and, anxious to reach the 
village, I urged on our men. As Randall and Waud gained 
ground to the front, they became separated by a ravine in which 
was concealed a brigade of Federals. Isolated by the retreat 
of their friends, these troops attempted to get out. Fired on 



170 DESTRUCTION" AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

from both sides of the ravine, a part of them appeared on the 
field in front of Brent's guns, to be driven back by grape. "With 
heavy loss they at length succeeded in escaping through the 
thicket. A letter from the commander was subsequently cap- 
tured, wherein he denounces the conduct of his superiors who 
abandoned him to his fate. However true the allegation, it is 
doubtful if his brigade could have rendered more service else- 
where. The suddenness of its appearance stopped our forward 
movement, and a cry arose that we were firing on our own peo- 
ple. The thickening gloom made it impossible to disabuse the 
troops of this belief, and I ordered them to withdraw to the 
open field. The movement was made slowly and in perfect 
order, the men forming in the field as they emerged from the 
thicket. The last light of day was fading as I rode along the 
line, and the noise of battle had ceased. 

Churchill came to report the result of his attack, and seemed 
much depressed. I gave such consolation as I could, and di- 
rected him to move his command to the mill stream, seven 
miles to the rear, where he would find his trains and water. 
A worthy, gallant gentleman, General Churchill, but not fortu- 
nate in war. 

The mill stream was the nearest water to be had, and I was 
compelled to send the troops back to it. The enemy made no 
attempt to recover the ground from which his center and right 
had been driven. Bee picketed the field with his cavalry, his 
forage wagons were ordered up from the mill stream, and it was 
hoped that water for his two regiments could be found in the 
wells and cisterns of the village. Sounds of retreat could be 
heard in the stillness of the night. Parties were sent on the 
field to care for the wounded, and Bee was ordered to take up 
the pursuit toward Grand Ecore at dawn, to be followed by the 
horse from the mill stream as soon as water and forage had been 
supplied. These dispositions for the morning made, worn out 
by fatigue and loss of sleep, I threw myself on the ground, 
within two hundred yards of the battle field, and sought rest. 
The enemy retreated during the night, leaving four hundred 
wounded, and his many dead unburied. On the morning of 



MOVEMENT TO THE EED KIVER, ETC. 171 

the lOth Bee pursued for twenty miles before he overtook his 
rear guard, finding stragglers and burning wagons and stores, 
evidences of haste. 

In the two actions of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill my loss 
in killed and wounded was twenty-two hundred. At Pleasant 
Hill we lost three guns and four hundred and twenty-six pris- 
oners, one hundred and seventy-nine from Churchill's, and two 
hundred and forty-seven from Scurry's brigade at the time it 
was so nearly overwhelmed. The Federal loss in killed and 
wounded exceeded mine, and we captured twenty guns and 
twenty-eight hundred prisoners, not including stragglers picked 
up after the battle. The enemy's campaign for conquest was 
defeated by an inferior force, and it was doubtful if his army 
and fleet could escape destruction. 

These were creditable results, yet of much less importance 
than those that would have been accomplished but for my blun- 
der at Pleasant Hill. Instead of intrusting the important attack 
by my right to a subordinate, I should have conducted it myself 
and taken Polignac's division to sustain it. True, this would 
have removed my reserve from the center and line of retreat, and 
placed it on a flank ; but I was confident that the enemy had 
no intention of resuming the offensive, and should have acted 
on that conviction. All this flashed upon me the instant I 
learned of the disorder of my right. Herein lies the vast dif- 
ference between genius and commonplace : one anticipates er- 
rors, the other discovers them too late. 

The foregoing account of Churchill's attack at Pleasant Hill, 
hidden from me by intervening wood, is taken from his official 
report and the reports of his subordinates ; and I will now sup- 
plement it by some extracts from the testimony given by Gen- 
eral Francis Fessenden of the Federal army. On pages 94 and 
95 of the second volume of the " Report on the Conduct of the 
"War, " the following appears : 

" In the afternoon we were changed, from a position in the 
woods in front of Pleasant Hill, to a position in rear of a deep 
ditch near the town. We 'were placed behind this ditch, in 
open ground, and practically held the left of the front line ; and 



172 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

my regiment was on the left. I think it was not expected that 
an attack would be made by the enemy in that direction. The 
attack was expected by the road which led in by the right cen- 
ter of the army. Instead of that, however, the enemy came 
around through the woods, and about half -past 5 o'clock drove 
in our skirmishers, and made a very fierce attack on the bri- 
gade I was in — Colonel Benedict's brigade. The brigade fell 
back under the attack a great deal broken up, and my regiment 
was separated from the other three regiments which went off in 
another direction. I had fallen back still further to the left, 
as I knew there was a brigade of troops in there to protect our 
left flank and rear from attack in that direction. My regiment 
being the last of the brigade to fall back, the enemy had already 
advanced so far after the other three regiments that I could not 
fall back where they did. I therefore fell back in another 
direction, rallying my regiment and forming on the right of 
the brigade referred to ; and that brigade, my regiment, and 
another brigade, which I think had been brought up under 
General Emory, made an attack upon the enemy's column, 
which had advanced some distance, and drove them back with 
great loss. We continued to advance, and drove them a mile 
or more, so completely off the field that there was no other 
attack made by the enemy in that direction. 

" That night we fell back again, marching all night and all 
the next morning, until we reached the camping ground at the 
end of our first day's march from Grand Ecore. I ought to 
state here that in that attack of the enemy on our left the bri- 
gade commander, Colonel Benedict, was killed, and I then 
assumed command of the brigade. We remained at Grand 
Ecore some eight or nine days, where we built intrenchments 
to a certain extent — rifle pits. I think the whole army threw 
up a kind of temporary work in front." 

General Fessenden's statements accord with the reports of 
Churchill and his officers, and in other respects are accurate. 

On page 62 of the volume quoted from, General A. L. 
Lee, commanding mounted division of Banks's army, tes- 
tifies : 



MOVEMENT TO THE BED KIVEE, ETC. 173 

" The next morning (9th of April) I was ordered by Gen- 
eral Banks to detach one thousand cavalry to act as scouts and 
skirmishers, and to take the remainder of my division, and 
take whatever was left of the detachment of the 13th army 
corps and some negro troops that were there, and take the trains 
and the majority of the artillery of the army to Grand Ecore. 
It was thought that the enemy would get between us and Grand 
Ecore. I started about 11 o'clock with this train, and with six 
or eight batteries of artillery, and reached Grand Ecore the next 
day. The battle of the 9th of April commenced just as I was 
leaving. The next day at night the main army had reached 
Grand Ecore and joined me there. General Banks impressed 
on me very strongly that, in sending me back from Pleasant 
Hill just as the fight was commencing, it was of the greatest 
importance to save what material we had left. Early the next 
morning, when I was distant from Pleasant Hill eighteen miles, 
I received a dispatch from General Banks. I have not the dis- 
patch with me, but it was to this effect : that they had whipped 
the enemy terribly ; that Price was killed, also two or three 
other rebel generals whom he named, but who have since recov- 
ered ; and that I was to send back the subsistence trains for 
such and such troops. I was very much puzzled by that order, 
and immediately sent a staff officer back for more specific in- 
structions. But he had not been gone more than half an hour 
when a staff officer of General Banks arrived with an order 
to me, with which he had left in the night, for me to con- 
tinue pressing on with the whole train to Grand Ecore, and 
with instructions if any wagons broke down to burn them, 
not stop to fix anything, but get everything into Grand Ecore 
as quickly as I could, and look out very carefully on the 
flanks" 

There can be no question of the correctness of these state- 
ments of General A. L. Lee. 

The following quotations from the reports of Admiral Por- 
ter to the Secretary of the Navy are taken from page 239, and 
succeeding pages of the same volume : 



174 DESTRUCTION" AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

"Flag-ship Ceicket, Gband Ecoee, April 14, 1864. 

" The army here has met with a great defeat, no matter what 
the generals try to make of it. With the defeat has come de- 
moralization, and it will take some time to reorganize and make 
up the deficiencies in killed and prisoners. The whole affair 
has been seriously mismanaged. It was well we came up, for 
I am convinced the rebels would have attacked this broken 
army at Grand Ecore had we not been here to cover them. I 
do not think our army would be in a condition to resist them. 
I must confess that I feel a little uncertain how to act. I could 
not leave this army now without disgracing myself forever ; and, 
when running a risk in their cause, I do not want to be de- 
serted. One of my officers has already been asked ' If we would 
not burn our gunboats as soon as the army left ? ' speaking as 
if a gunboat was a very ordinary affair, and could be burned 
with indifference. I inclose two notes I received from Generals 
Banks and Stone. There is a faint attempt to make a victory 
out of this, but two or three such victories would cost us our 
existence." 

Again, on page 166 of the same volume appears this dis- 
patch from Lieutenant-General Grant, at Culpepper, Yirginia, to 
General Halleck, Chief of Staff, at "Washington : 

" You can see from General Brayman's dispatch to me some- 
thing of General Banks's disaster." 

Concerning the battle of Pleasant Hill General Banks re- 
ports (page 326) : 

" The whole of the reserves were now ordered up, and in 
turn we drove the enemy, continuing the pursuit until night 
compelled us to halt. The battle of the 9th was desperate and 
sanguinary. The defeat of the enemy was complete, and his 
loss in officers and men more than double that sustained by our 
forces. There was nothing in the immediate position and con- 
dition of the two armies to prevent a forward movement the 
next morning, and orders were given to prepare for an advance. 
But representations subsequently received from General Frank- 
lin and all the general officers of the 19th corps, as to the con- 



MOVEMENT TO THE EED RIVER, ETC. 175 

dition of their respective commands for immediate active oper- 
ations against the enemy, caused a suspension of this order, and 
a conference of the general officers was held in the evening, in 
which it was determined to retire upon Grand Ecore the fol- 
lowing day. The reasons urged for this course were : 1. That 
the absence of water made it absolutely necessary to advance 
or retire without delay. General Emory's command had been 
without rations for two days, and the train, which had been 
turned to the rear during the battle, could not be put in con- 
dition to move forward upon the single road through dense 
woods, in which it stood, without great difficulty and much loss 
of time." 

Again, on page 13, General Banks states : 

" The enemy was driven from the field. It was as clear a 
rout as it was possible for any army to suffer. After consulting 
with my officers, I concluded, against my own judgment, to 
fall back to Grand Ecore and reorganize. We held the field 
of battle. Our dead were buried. The wounded men were 
brought in and placed in the best hospitals we could organ- 
ize, and surgeons were left with them, with provisions, medi- 
cines, and supplies; and at daybreak we fell back to Grand 
Ecore." 

Here the proportion of fiction to fact surpasses that of sack 
to bread in Sir John's tavern bill ; and it may be doubted if a 
mandarin from the remotest province of the Celestial Empire 
ever ventured to send such a report to Peking. General Fes- 
senden's testimony, given above, shows that the army marched 
during the night of the 9th, and continued to Grand Ecore, 
where it intrenched; and General A. L. Lee's, that the main 
army joined him at that place on the evening of the 10th. 
Twenty of the thirty-six miles between Pleasant Hill and Grand 
Ecore were passed on the 10th by my cavalry before the rear 
of the enemy's column was seen ; yet General Banks officially 
reports that his army left Pleasant Hill at daybreak of the 10th. 
Homeric must have been the laughter of his troops when this 
report was published. 



CHAPTEE XI. 



ESCAPE OF BANKS AND POETEE. 



Feom my resting-place on the ground at Pleasant Hill, after 
the battle of the 9th, I was aroused about 10 p. m. by General 
Kirby Smith, just arrived from Shreveport. This officer dis- 
approved of further pursuit of Banks, except by a part of our 
mounted force, and ordered the infantry back to Mansfield. 
He was apprehensive that the troops on the transports above 
would reach Shreveport, or disembark below me and that place. 
In addition, Steele's column from Arkansas caused him much 
uneasiness, and made him unwilling for my troops to increase 
their distance from the capital of the "Trans-Mississippi De- 
partment." It was pointed out that the water in Red River 
was falling, and navigation becoming more and more difficult ; 
that I had a staff officer watching the progress of the fleet, which 
was not accompanied by more than three thousand men, too 
few to attempt a landing, and that they would certainly hear oi 
Banks's defeat and seek to rejoin him at Grand Ecore. As to 
Steele he was more than a hundred miles distant from Shreve- 
port, harassed by Price's force ; he must learn of Banks's mi* 
fortune, and, leading but a subsidiary column, would retire to 
Little Rock. Banks, with the remains of his beaten army, was 
before us, and the fleet of Porter, with barely water enough to 
float upon. "We had but to strike vigorously to capture or de- 
stroy both. But it was written that the sacrifices of my little 
army should be wasted, and, on the morning of the 10th, I was 
ordered to take all the infantry and much of the horse to Mans- 
field. 



ESCAPE OF BANKS AND PORTER 177 

The Bayou Pierre, three hundred feet wide and too deep to 
ford, leaves the Red River a few miles below Shreveport, and 
after a long course, in which it frequently expands into lakes, 
returns to its parent stream three miles above Grand Ecore, 
dividing the pine-clad hills on the west from the alluvion of the 
river on the east. Several roads lead from the interior to land- 
ings on the river, crossing Bayou Pierre by ferries. One from 
Pleasant Hill to Blair's Landing, sixteen miles, has been men- 
tioned. Another led from Mansfield to Grand Bayou Landing, 
eighteen miles. Dispatches from Captain McCloskey informed 
me that the enemy's fleet had passed this last place on the morn- 
ing of the 9th, pushing slowly up river, impeded by low water. 
Feeling assured that intelligence of Banks's defeat would send 
the fleet back to Grand Ecore, and hoping to cut off its commu- 
cation, at dawn of the 11th I sent General Bagby, with a bri- 
gade of horse and a battery, from Mansfield to Grand Bayou 
landing. Before reaching the ferry at Bayou Pierre, he ascer- 
tained that the fleet had turned back on the afternoon of the 
10th. There was a pontoon train at Shreveport that I had in 
vain asked for, and Bagby experienced great delay in crossing 
Bayou Pierre by means of one small flat. The fleet, descend- 
ing, passed Grand Bayou Landing at 10 o'clock a. m. of the 11th, 
some hours before Bagby reached the river ; and he pushed on 
toward Blair's Landing, where he arrived on the night of the 
12th, after the close of Green's operations of that day. 

General Green, from Pleasant Hill, had been directing the 
movements of our advanced horse, a part of which, under Bee, 
was in front of Grand Ecore and Natchitoches. Advised of 
the movements of the enemy's fleet, he, with seven hundred 
and fifty horse and two batteries, left Pleasant Hill for Blair's 
Landing at 6 o'clock p. m. on the 11th. As in the case of Bag- 
by, he was delayed at Bayou Pierre, and, after hard work, only 
succeeded in crossing three guns and a part of his horse before 
the fleet came down on the 12th. Green attacked at once, and, 
leading his men in his accustomed fearless way, was killed by a 
discharge of grape from one of the gunboats. Deprived of 
their leader, the men soon fell back, and the fleet reached Grand 
12 



178 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

Ecore without further molestation from the west bank. The 
enemy's loss, supposed by our people to have been immense, 
was officially reported at seven on the gunboats and fifty on the 
transports. Per contra^ the enemy believed that our loss was 
stupendous; whereas we had scarcely a casualty except the 
death of General Green, an irreparable one. No Confederate 
went aboard the fleet and no Federal came ashore ; so there was 
a fine field of slaughter in which the imagination of both sides 
could disport itself. 

"With facilities for crossing the Pierre at hand, the fleet, 
during the 11th and 12th, would have been under the fire of 
two thousand riflemen and eighteen guns and suffered heavily, 
especially the transports, crowded with troops. As it was, we 
accomplished but little and lost General Green. 

Like Mouton, this officer had joined me at an early period 
of my service in western Louisiana. Coming to me with the 
rank of colonel, his conspicuous services made it my pleasant 
duty to recommend him for promotion to brigadier and major- 
general. Upright, modest, and with the simplicity of a child, 
danger seemed to be his element, and he rejoiced in combat. 
His men adored him, and would follow wherever he led ; but 
they did not fear him, for, though he scolded at them in action, 
he was too kind-hearted to punish breaches of discipline. In 
truth, he had no conception of the value of discipline in war, 
believing that all must be actuated by his own devotion to duty. 
His death was a public calamity, and mourned as such by the 
people of Texas and Louisiana. To me he was a tried and de- 
voted friend, and our friendship was cemented by the fact that, 
through his Virginia mother, we were related by blood. The 
great Commonwealth, whose soil contains his remains, will never 
send forth a bolder warrior, a better citizen, nor a more upright 
man than Thomas Green. 

The brigade of horse brought by General Green to Louisi- 
ana, and with which he was so long associated, had some pecu- 
liar characteristics. The officers such as Colonels Hardiman, 
Baylor, Lane, Herbert, McNeill, and others, were bold and en- 
terprising. The men, hardy frontiersmen, excellent riders, and 



ESCAPE OF BANKS AND POKTER. 179 

skilled riflemen, were fearless and self-reliant, but discharged 
their duty as they liked and when they liked. On a march they 
wandered about at will, as they did about camp, and could be 
kept together only when a fight was impending. When their 
arms were injured by service 'or neglect, they threw them away, 
expecting to be supplied with others. Yet, with these faults, 
they were admirable fighters, and in the end I became so much 
attached to them as to be incapable of punishing them. 

After the affair at Blair's Landing on the 12th, the horse re- 
turned to Pleasant Hill, and thence joined Bee in front of 
Grand Ecore, where Banks had his army concentrated behind 
works, with gunboats and transports in the river, Bee occupying 
the town of Natchitoches, four miles away. On the morning 
of the 13th General Kirby Smith visited me at Mansfield. Be- 
lieved of apprehension about the fleet, now at Grand Ecore, he 
expressed great anxiety for the destruction of Steele's column. 
I was confident that Steele, who had less than ten thousand 
men and was more than a hundred miles distant from Shreve- 
port, would hear of Banks's disaster and retreat ; but General 
Kirby Smith's views differed from mine. I then expressed my 
willingness to march, with the main body of the infantry, to 
join Price in Arkansas, and serve under his command until 
Steele's column was destroyed or driven back ; insisting, how- 
ever, that in the event of Steele's retreat I should be permitted 
to turn on Banks and Porter, to complete the work of Mansfield 
and Pleasant Hill. The destruction of the Federal army and 
capture of the fleet, helpless alone by reason of low and falling 
water in Bed Biver, were the legitimate fruits of those victo- 
ries, and I protested with all possible earnestness against a pol- 
icy that would fail to reap them. After this conversation Gen- 
eral Kirby Smith returned to Shreveport, leaving me under the 
impression that my last proposition was acceded to. The loss 
of valuable time incurred by a wild-goose chase after Steele 
was most annoying, but I was hopeful it might be recovered. 
To get the fleet down to Alexandria and over the falls at that 
place would require much time in the low condition of the 
water ; and Banks's army was so much demoralized by defeat 



180 DESTRUCTION" AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

that Bee found no difficulty in restraining its movements with 
his horse. 

At dawn of the 14th "Walker's and Churchill's divisions of 
infantry, with their artillery, prepared for an active campaign, 
marched for Shreveport, forty miles. The same day Polignac's 
infantry division, reduced to some twelve hundred muskets, was 
sent toward Grand Ecore to strengthen the horse in front of the 
enemy. On the evening of the 15th I reached Shreveport, and 
had a short interview with General Kirby Smith, who informed 
me that Steele had begun his retreat from a point a hundred and 
ten miles distant, but that he hoped to overtake him, and would 
personally direct the pursuit. I was further informed that my 
presence with the troops was not desired, and that I would re- 
main in nominal command of Shreveport, but might join the 
force near Grand Ecore if I thought proper. All this with the 
curt manner of a superior to a subordinate, as if fearing remon- 
strance. General Kirby Smith marched north of Shreveport 
on the 16th, and three days thereafter I received a dispatch 
from his " chief of staff " informing me that the pontoon train, 
asked for in vain when it would have been of priceless value, 
would be sent back from his army and placed at my disposition. 
Doubtless General Kirby Smith thought that a pontoon train 
would supply the place of seven thousand infantry and six bat- 
teries. 

I remained at Shreveport three days, occupied with reports 
and sending supplies to my little force near Grand Ecore, to- 
ward which I proceeded on the 19th of April. Major-General 
"Wharton, who had gained reputation as a cavalry officer in the 
Confederate Army of Tennessee, accompanied me. He had 
reported for duty at Shreveport on the 18th, and was assigned 
to the command of the horse to replace the lamented Green. 
We reached Polignac's camp, in the vicinity of Grand Ecore, 
ninety odd miles from Shreveport, on the evening of the 21st, 
and learned that the enemy had threatened an advance during 
the day. This convinced me of his intention to retreat, and an 
officer was sent to General Bee to warn him. 

Cane River leaves the main channel of the Red below Grand 



ESCAPE OF BANKS AND PORTER. 181 

Ecore, and, passing by Natchitoches, returns to the Red after a 
winding course of sixty miles. Except at the season of floods, 
it is not navigable ; but the alluvion through which it flows is 
very productive, while the pine forest immediately to the west 
is sterile. Bee, under instructions, occupied the valley of Cane 
River with his horse, and had been ordered to keep his pickets 
close to Grand Ecore and Natchitoches, draw his forage from 
plantations along the river, and, when the enemy retreated 
toward Alexandria, fall back before him to Monette's Ferry, 
which he was expected to hold. Monette's Ferry, forty miles be- 
low Natchitoches, was on the only practicable road to Alexandria. 
Here the river made a wide, deep ford, and pine-clad hills rose 
abruptly from the southern bank. On the left, looking toward 
Natchitoches, were hills and impassable lakes, easily held against 
any force. On the right, hills, rugged and pine-clad, extended 
eight miles to the point at which Cane River reenters the Red. 
The distance from Monette's to Alexandria is thirty-five miles, 
of which fourteen is through wooded hills. Roads led west to 
Carroll Jones's and Beaseley's, twelve and thirty miles respec- 
tively ; and on these roads Bee was directed to keep his trains. 

Concerning the position at Monette's General Banks reports : 
" The army marched from Grand Ecore on the morning of the 
22d of April. To prevent the occupation of Monette's Bluff, on 
Cane River, a strong position commanding the only road lead- 
ing across the river to Alexandria, or to prevent the concentra- 
tion of the enemy's forces at that point, it became necessary to 
accomplish the evacuation without his knowledge." As before 
stated, the threatened advance of the 21st convinced me that the 
enemy's retreat was imminent, and so I advised Bee ; but there 
was not time to send General Wharton to him after I reached 
Polignac's camp. Bee had two thousand horse and four bat- 
teries, and, after several days to examine and prepare his ground, 
might well be expected to hold it with tenacity. 

Immediately after the battle of Pleasant Hill I had sent 
Vincent, with his own and Bush's regiments of Louisiana horse, 
to threaten Alexandria and drive out small parties of the enemy 
from the Attakapas and Teche regions. Subsequently, a bri- 



182 DESTRUCTION" AND RECONSTRUCTION". 

gade of Texas horse, seven hundred strong, under Brigadier 
"William Steele, joined me, and was now with Polignac. 

As anticipated, the enemy left Grand Ecore during the 
night of the 21fct and marched without halting to Cloutierville, 
thirty-two miles. With Steele's brigade, "Wharton drove his 
rear guard from Natchitoches on the morning of the 22d, cap- 
turing some prisoners, and continued the pursuit to the twenty- 
four-mile ferry. On the 23d, after a sharp action, he pushed 
the enemy's rear below Cloutierville, taking some score of pris- 
oners. Polignac's infantry joined that evening, and covered a 
road leading through the hills from Cloutierville to Beaseley's. 
If Bee stood firm at Monette's, we were in position to make 
Banks unhappy on the morrow, separated as he was from the 
fleet, on which he relied to aid his demoralized forces. But Bee 
gave way on the afternoon of the 23d, permitting his strong 
position to be forced at the small cost to the enemy of less than 
four hundred men, and suffering no loss himself. Then, instead 
of attacking the great trains, during their fourteen miles' march 
through the forest, and occupying with artillery McNutt's Hill, 
a high bluff twenty miles from Alexandria and commanding the 
road thither in the valley, he fell back at once to Beaseley's, 
thirty miles. Before this mistake could be rectified, the enemy 
crossed at Monette's, burning many wagons at the ford, and 
passed below McNutt's Hill. General Bee had exhibited 
much personal gallantry in the charge at Pleasant Hill, but he 
was without experience in war, and had neglected to study the 
ground or strengthen his position at Monette's. Leaving Mans- 
field for Shreveport on the 15th, under orders from General 
Kirby Smith, I only got back to the front on the night of the 
21st, too late to reach Monette's or send Wharton there. 

It was very disheartening, but, persuaded that the enemy 
could not pass the falls at Alexandria with his fleet, I deter- 
mined to stick to him with my little force of less than forty-five 
hundred of all arms. It was impossible to believe that General 
Kirby Smith would continue to persist in his inexplicable policj 7 , 
and fail to come, ere long, to my assistance. 

On the 26th Bee's horse, from Beaseley's, joined Steele's at 



ESCAPE OF BANKS AND PORTER. 183 

MeNutt's Hill ; and together, under Wharton, they attacked the 
enemy in the valley and drove him, with loss of killed and pris- 
oners, to the immediate vicinity of Alexandria. 

"When General Banks retreated so hastily from Grand Ecore, 
Admiral Porter was laboring to get his fleet down to Alexan- 
dria. In a communication to the Secretary of the Navy from 
his flag-ship below Grand Ecore, he says (" Report on the Con- 
duct of the War," vol. ii., pages 234-5) : 

" I soon saw that the army would go to Alexandria again, 
and we would be left above the bars in a helpless condition. 
The vessels are mostly at Alexandria, above the falls, excepting 
this one and two others I kept to protect the Eastport. The 
Red River is falling at the rate of two inches a day. If Gen- 
eral Banks should determine to evacuate this country, the gun- 
boats will be cut off from all communication with the Mississippi. 
It cannot be possible that the country would be willing to have 
eight iron-clads, three or four other gunboats, and many trans- 
ports sacrificed without an effort to save them. It would be the 
worst thing that has happened this war." 

The Eastport, the most formidable iron-clad of the Mississippi 
squadron, grounded on a bar below Grand Ecore. Three tin- 
clad gunboats and two transports remained near to assist in get- 
ting her off ; and, to prevent this, some mounted riflemen were 
sent, on the morning of the 26th, to cooperate with Liddel's 
raw levies on the north bank of the river. These forced the 
enemy to destroy the Eastport, and drove away the gunboats 
and transports. Our loss in the affair was two killed and four 
wounded. Meantime, to intercept the gunboats and transports 
on their way down, Colonel Caudle of Polignac's division, with 
two hundred riflemen and Cornay's four-gun battery, had been 
posted at the junction of Cane and Red Rivers, twenty miles 
below. At 6 o'clock p. m. of the 26th the leading gunboat and 
one transport came down. Our fire speedily crippled and 
silenced the gunboat, and a shot exploded the boiler of the 
transport. Under cover of escaping steam the gunboat drifted 
out of fire, but the loss of life on the transport was fearful. 
One hundred dead and eighty-seven severely scalded, most of 



184 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION". 

whom subsequently died, were brought on shore. These unfor- 
tunate creatures were negroes, taken from plantations on the 
river above. The object of the Federals was to remove negroes 
from their owners ; but for the lives of these poor people the j 
cared nothing, or, assuredly, they would not have forced them, 
on an unprotected river steamer, to pass riflemen and artillery, 
against which gunboats were powerless. On the following day, 
the 27th, the two remaining gunboats and transport attempted 
to pass Caudle's position ; and the former, much cut up, suc- 
ceeded, but the transport was captured. Colonel Caudle had 
one man wounded, and the battery one killed — its commander, 
Captain Cornay, who, with Mouton, Armand, and many other 
Creoles, proved by distinguished gallantry that the fighting 
qualities of the old French breed had suffered no deterioration 
on the soil of Louisiana. 

The following extracts from the report of Admiral Porter 
well exhibit the efficiency of Caudle and Cornay in this affair : 

"Flag-ship Ckicket, off Alexandbia, April 28, 1864. 

" When rounding the point, the vessels in close order and 
ready for action, we descried a party of the enemy with artillery 
on the right bank, and we immediately opened fire with our bow 
guns. The enemy immediately returned it with a large number 
of cannon, eighteen in all, every shot of which struck this vessel. 
The captain gave orders to stop the engines. I corrected this 
mistake, and got headway on the vessel again, but not soon 
enough to avoid the pelting showers of shot and shell which the 
enemy poured into us, every shot going through and through 
us, clearing all our decks in a moment. I took charge of the 
vessel, and, as the battery was a very heavy one, I determined to 
pass it, which was done under the heaviest fire I ever witnessed. 
Seeing that the Hindman did not pass the batteries, the Juliet 
disabled, and that one of the pump boats (transport) had her 
boiler exploded by a shot, I ran down to a point three or four 
miles below. Lieutenant-Commander Phelps had two vessels 
in charge, the Juliet and Champion (transport), which he wished 
to get through safely. He kept them out of range until he 



ESCAPE OF BANKS AND PORTER. 185 

could partially repair the Juliet, and then, starting under a heavy 
fire, he make a push by. Unfortunately the pump boat (Cham- 
pion) was disabled and set fire to. The Hindman had her wheel 
ropes cut away, and drifted past, turning round and round, and 
getting well cut up in going by. The Juliet was cut to pieces 
in hull and machinery ; had fifteen killed and wounded. I in- 
close the report of Lieutenant-Commander Phelps, from the 
time of his first misfortune until his arrival at this place (Alex- 
andria), where I now am with all the fleet, but very much sur- 
prised that I have any left, considering all the difficulties en- 
countered. I came up here with the river on the rise, and water 
enough for our largest vessels ; and even on my way up to 
Shreveport from Grand Ecore the water rose, while it com- 
menced falling where I left the largest gunboats. Tailing or 
not, I could not go back while in charge of the transports and 
material on which an army of thirty thousand men depended" 

This is high testimony to the fighting capacity of two hun- 
dred riflemen and four guns, two twelve-pounder smooth-bores 
and two howitzers, all that Admiral Porter's three gunboats had 
to contend with. It proves the utter helplessness of gunboats in 
narrow streams, when deprived of the protection of troops on 
the banks. Even the iron-clads, with armor impenetrable by 
field guns, were readily driven off by sharpshooters, who, under 
cover, closed their ports or killed every exposed man. 

On the 24th Liddel, from the north bank of Red River, 
dashed into Pineville, opposite Alexandria, killed and captured 
a score of the enemy's party, and drove the remainder over the 
river. 

On the 27th Admiral Porter's fleet was lying above the falls, 
now impassable, and Banks's army, over twenty thousand strong, 
was in and around Alexandria behind earthworks. Such was 
the condition to which this large force had been reduced by re- 
peated defeat, that we not only confined it to its works, driving 
back many attacks on our advanced positions, but I felt justified 
in dividing my little command in order to blockade the river 
below, and cut off communication with the Mississippi. Whar- 



186 DESTRUCTION" AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

ton's horse was divided into three parts, each a thousand strong, 
and accompanied by artillery. The first, under Steele, held the 
river and Rapides roads, above and west of Alexandria; the 
second, under Bagby, the Boeuf road to the south of that place ; 
while Major, with the third, was sent to Davide's Ferry, on the 
river, twenty-five miles below. Polignac's infantry, twelve 
hundred muskets, was posted on the Boeuf within supporting 
distance of the two last. Liddel's seven hundred newly-organ- 
ized horse, with four guns, was of little service beyond making 
feints to distract the enemy. 

Major reached his position on the 30th, and on the follow- 
ing day, the 1st of May, captured and sunk the transport Emma. 
On the 3d he captured the transport City Belle, on her way up 
to Alexandria, with the 120th Ohio regiment on board. All 
the officers and two hundred and seventy-six men were taken, 
with many killed and wounded. On the evening of the 4th 
the gunboats Covington and Signal, each mounting eight heavy 
guns, with the transport "Warner, attempted to pass. The Cov- 
ington was blown up by her crew to escape capture, but the 
Signal and Warner surrendered. Four guns, two three-inch 
rifled and two howitzers, were engaged in this action with the 
Covington and Signal. They were run up to the river's bank 
by hand, the howitzers above, the three-inch rifles below the 
gunboats, which, overpowered by the rapid fire, moved back 
and forth until one surrendered and the other was destroyed, 
affording a complete illustration of the superiority of field guns 
to gunboats in narrow streams. There was no further attempt 
to pass Major's position, and Federal communication with the 
Mississippi was closed for fifteen days. 

During these operations the enemy was engaged night and 
day in the construction of a dam across the Red River, to enable 
him to pass his fleet over the falls ; and the following extracts 
from the report of Admiral Porter to the Secretary of the Kavy 
well exhibit the condition of affairs in and around Alexandria 
(" Report on the Conduct of the War," vol. ii., page 250) : 



ESCAPE OF BANKS AND PORTER. 187 

"Flag-ship Ceicket, Alexandeia, April 28, 1864. 
" Sie : I have written you an account of the operations of the 
fleet in these waters, but take the liberty of writing to you con- 
fidentially the true state of affairs. I find myself blockaded by 
a fall of three feet of water, three feet four inches being the 
amount now on the falls. Seven feet being required to get 
over, no amount of lightening will accomplish the object. I have 
already written to you how the whole state of things has been 
changed by a too blind carelessness on the part of our military 
leader, and our retreat back to Alexandria from place to place 
has so demoralized General Banks's army that the troops have 
no confidence in anybody or anything. Our army is now all 
here, with the best general (Franklin) wounded and unfit for 
duty in the field. General Banks seems to hold no communi- 
cation with any one, and it is impossible for me to say what he 
will do. I have no confidence in his promises, as he asserted in 
a letter, herein inclosed, that he had no intention of leaving 
Grand Ecore, when he had actually already made all his prepa- 
rations to leave. The river is crowded with transports, and 
every gunboat I have is required to convoy them. I have to 
withdraw many light-draughts from other points on the Missis- 
sippi to supply demands here. In the mean time the enemy 
are splitting up into parties of two thousand, and bringing in 
the artillery (with which we have supplied them) to blockade 
points below here ; and what will be the upshot of it all I can 
not foretell. I know that it will be disastrous in the extreme, 
for this is a country in which a retreating army is completely at 
the mercy of an enemy. Notwithstanding that the rebels are 
reported as coming in from Washita, with heavy artillery to 
plant on the hills opposite Alexandria, no movement is being 
made to occupy the position, and I am in momentary expecta- 
tion of hearing the rebel guns open on the transports on the 
town side ; or if they go down or come up the river, it will 
be at the risk of destruction. Our light-clads can do nothing 
against hill batteries. I am in momentary expectation of seeing 
this army retreat, when the result will be disastrous. Unless 
instructed by the Government, I do not think that General 



188 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

Banks will make the least effort to save the navy here. The 
following vessels are above the falls and command the right of 
the town : Mound City, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Carondelet, Chil- 
licothe, Osage, Neosho, Ozark, Lexington, and Fort Hindman. 
At this moment the enemy have attacked our outposts, and 
driven in our indifferent cavalry, which came up numbering 
six thousand, and have brought nothing but calamity in their 
train. Our whole army is cooped up in this town, while a much 
inferior force is going rampant about the country, making prepa- 
rations to assail our helpless transports, which, if caught filled 
with men, would be perfect slaughter-houses. Quick remedies 
are required, and I deem it my duty to lay the true state of 
affairs before you. If left here by the army, I will be obliged 
to destroy this fleet to prevent it f ailing into the enemy's hands. 
I can not conceive that the nation will permit such a sacrifice to 
be made, when men and money can prevent it. "We have fought 
hard for the opening of the Mississippi, and have reduced the na- 
val forces of the rebels in this quarter to two vessels. If we have 
to destroy what we have here, there will be material enough to 
build half a dozen iron-clads, and the Red River, which is now 
of no further dread to us, will require half the Mississippi squad- 
ron to watch it. I am apprehensive that the turrets of the 
monitors will defy any efforts we can make to destroy them. 
Our prestige will receive a shock from which it will be long in 
recovering ; and if the calamities I dread should overtake us, 
the annals of this war will not present so dire a one as will have 
befallen us." 

Thus Admiral Porter, who even understates the facts. 

In vain had all this been pointed out to General Kirby 
Smith, when he came to me at Pleasant Hill in the night after 
the battle. Granted that he was alarmed for Shreveport, sacred 
to him and his huge staff as Benares, dwelling-place of many 
gods, to the Hindoo ; yet, when he marched from that place on 
the 16th of April against Steele, the latter, already discomfited 
by Price's horse, was retreating, and, with less than a third of 
Banks's force at Grand Ecore, was then further from Shreve- 



ESCAPE OF BANKS AND PORTEE. 189 

port than was Banks. To pursue a retreating foe, numbering 
six thousand men, he took over seven thousand infantry, and 
left me twelve hundred to operate against twenty odd thousand 
and a powerful fleet. From the evening of the 21st of April, 
when I returned to the front near Grand Ecore, to the 13th of 
May, the day on which Porter and Banks escaped from Alex- 
andria, I kept him advised of the enemy's movements and con- 
dition. Couriers and staff officers were sent to implore him to 
return and reap the fruits of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, whose 
price had been paid in blood. Not a man was sent me ; even 
the four-gun battery with Liddell on the north of the river was, 
without my knowledge, withdrawn toward Arkansas. From 
first to last, General Kirby Smith seemed determined to throw 
a protecting shield around the Federal army and fleet. 

In all the ages since the establishment of the Assyrian mon- 
archy no commander has possessed equal power to destroy a 
cause. Far away from the great centers of conflict in Virginia 
and Georgia, on a remote theatre, the opportunity of striking a . 
blow decisive of the war was afforded. An army that included 
the strength of every garrison from Memphis to the Gulf had 
been routed, and, by the incompetency of its commander, was 
utterly demoralized and ripe for destruction. But this army 
was permitted to escape, and its 19th corps reached Chesapeake 
Bay in time to save Washington from General Early's attack, 
while the 13th, 16th, and 17th corps reenforced Sherman in 
Georgia. More than all, we lost Porter's fleet, which the fall- 
ing river had delivered into our hands ; for the protection of an 
army was necessary to its liberation, as without the army a dam 
at the falls could not have been constructed. "With this fleet, 
or even a portion of it, we would have at once recovered pos- 
session of the Mississippi, from the Ohio to the sea, and undone 
all the work of the Federals since the winter of 1861. Instead 
of Sherman, Johnston would have been reenforced from west 
of the Mississippi, and thousands of absent men, with fresh 
hope, would have rejoined Lee. The Southern people might 
have been spared the humiliation of defeat, and the countless 
woes and wrongs inflicted on them by their conquerors. 



190 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

It was for this that Green and Mouton and other gallant 
spirits fell ! It was for this that the men of Missouri and Ar- 
kansas made a forced march to die at Pleasant Hill ! It was 
for this that the divisions of Walker and Polignac had held 
every position intrusted to them, carried every position in their 
front, and displayed a constancy and valor worthy of the Guards 
at Inkermann or Lee's veterans in the Wilderness ! For this, 
too, did the handful left, after our brethren had been taken 
from us, follow hard on the enemy, attack him constantly at 
any odds, beat off and sink his gunboats, close the Red River 
below him and shut up his army in Alexandria for fifteen 
days ! Like " Sister Ann " from her watch tower, day after 
day we strained our eyes to see the dust of our approaching 
comrades arise from the north bank of the Red. Not a camp 
follower among us but knew that the arrival of our men from 
the North would give us the great prize in sight. Yain, in- 
deed, were our hopes. The commander of the " Trans-Missis- 
sippi Department " had the power to destroy the last hope of 
the Confederate cause, and exercised it with all the success of 
Bazaine at Metz. 

" The affairs of mice and men aft gang aglee," from sheer 
stupidity and pig-headed obstinacy. General Kirby Smith had 
publicly announced that Banks's army was too strong to be 
fought, and that the proper policy was either to defend the 
works protecting Shreveport, or retreat into Texas. People do 
not like to lose their reputations as prophets or sons of prophets. 
Subsequently, it was given out that General Kirby Smith had a 
wonderful plan for the destruction of the enemy, which I had 
disturbed by rashly beating his army at Mansfield and Pleasant 
Hill ; but this plan, like Trochu's for the defense of Paris, was 
never disclosed — undoubtedly, because c'etait le secret de Poli- 
chinelle. 

After many days of energetic labor, the enemy on the 13th 
of May succeeded in passing his fleet over the falls at Alexan- 
dria, evacuated the place, and retreated down the river, the 
army, on the south bank, keeping pace with the fleet. Admiral 
Porter, in his report to the Secretary of the Navy, gives a 



ESCAPE OF BANKS AND PORTER. 191 

graphic account of the passage of the falls, and under date of 
May 19th, says : " In my report in relation to the release of the 
gunboats from their unpleasant position above the falls, I did 
not think it prudent to mention that I was obliged to destroy 
eleven thirty-two-pounders, not having time to haul them from 
above the falls to Alexandria, the army having moved and 
drawn in all their pickets. For the same reason I also omitted 
to mention that I was obliged to take off the iron from the 
sides of the Pook gunboats and from the Ozark, to enable them 
to get over." 

To harass the retreat, the horse and artillery, on the river 
above Alexandria, were directed to press the enemy's rear, and 
the remaining horse and Polignac's infantry to intercept his 
route at Avoyelles Prairie. During the 14th, 15th, and 16th 
he was constantly attacked in front, rear, and right flank ; and 
on the 17th Wharton charged his rear near Mansura, capturing 
many prisoners, while Colonel Yager, with two regiments of 
horse, cut in on the wagon train at Yellow Bayou, killed and 
drove off the guard, and destroyed much property. Meanwhile 
Liddell, on the north bank of the Bed, followed the fleet and 
kept up a constant fire on the transports. But for the unfor- 
tunate withdrawal of his battery, before alluded to, he could 
have destroyed many of these vessels. On the 18th we attacked 
the enemy at Yellow Bayou, near Simmsport, and a severe en- 
gagement ensued, lasting until night. We held the field, on 
which the enemy left his dead, but our loss was heavy, four 
hundred and fifty-two in killed and wounded ; among the for- 
mer, Colonel Stone, commanding Polignac's old brigade. Po- 
lignac, in charge of division, was conspicuous in this action. 
The following day, May 19, 1864, the enemy crossed the 
Atchafalaya and was beyond our reach. Here, at the place 
where it had opened more than two months before, the cam- 
paign closed. 

The army I had the honor to command in this campaign 
numbered, at its greatest strength, about thirteen thousand of 
all arms, including Liddell's force on the north bank of Red 
River ; but immediately after the battle of Pleasant Hill it was 



192 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

reduced to fifty-two hundred by the withdrawal of Walker's 
and Churchill's divisions. Many of the troops marched quite 
four hundred miles, and from the 5th of April to the 18th of 
May not a day passed without some engagement with the 
enemy, either on land or river. Our total loss in killed, wound- 
ed, and missing was three thousand nine hundred and seventy- 
six ; that of the enemy, nearly three times this number. 

From the action at Yellow Bayou on the 18th of May, 1864, 
to the close of the war in the following year, not a shot was 
fired in the " Trans-Mississippi Department." Johnston was 
forced back to Atlanta and relieved from command, and Atlan- 
ta fell. Not even an effective demonstration was made toward 
Arkansas and Missouri to prevent troops from being sent to 
reenforce Thomas at Nashville, and Hood was overthrown. 
Sherman marched unopposed through Georgia and South Caro- 
lina, while Lee's gallant army wasted away from cold and hun- 
ger in the trenches at Petersburg. Like Augustus in the agony 
of his spirit, the sorely pressed Confederates on the east of the 
Mississippi asked, and asked in vain : " Yarus ! Yarus ! Where 
are our legions ? " 

The enemy's advance, fleet and army, reached Alexandria 
on the 16th of March, but he delayed sixteen days there and at 
Grand Ecore. My first reinforcements, two small regiments of 
horse, joined at Natchitoches on the 31st ; but the larger part 
of Green's force came in at Mansfield on the 6th of April, 
Churchill's infantry reaching Keachi the same day. Had Banks 
pushed to Mansfield on the 5th instead 'of the 8th of April, he 
would have met but little opposition ; and, once at Mansfield, he 
had the choice of three roads to Shreveport, where Steele could 
have joined him. 

Judging from the testimony given to the Congressional 
Committee on the Conduct of the War, cotton and elections 
seem to have been the chief causes of delay. In the second 
volume of " Report " may be found much crimination and re- 
crimination between the Navy and Army concerning the seizure 
of cotton. Without attempting to decide the question, I may 
observe that Admiral Porter informs the Secretary of the Navy 



ESCAPE OF BANES AND PORTER. 193 

of " the capture from the rebels of three thousand bales of cot- 
ton on the Washita river, and two thousand on the Red, all of 
which I have sent to Cairo " ; while General Banks testifies 
that he " took from western Louisiana ten thousand bales of 
cotton and twenty thousand beef cattle, horses, and mules." 
From this, the Army appears to have surpassed the navy to the 
extent of five thousand bales of cotton and the above-mentioned 
number of beef cattle, etc. Whether Admiral Porter or Gen- 
eral Banks was the more virtuous, the unhappy people of Louis- 
iana were deprived of " cakes and ale." 

In his enthusiasm for art the classic cobbler forgot his last ; 
but "all quality, pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious 
war " could not make General Banks forget his politics, and he 
held elections at Alexandria and Grand Ecore. The General 
describes with some unction the devotion of the people to the 
" Union," which was and was to be, to them, " the fount of 
every blessing." 

Says General Banks in his report : " It became necessary to 
accomplish the evacuation [of Grand Ecore] without the enemy's 
knowledge. The conflagration of a portion of the town at the 
hour appointed for the movement partially frustrated the ob- 
ject." And further on : " Rumors were circulated freely through- 
out the camp at Alexandria, that upon the evacuation of the 
town it would be burned, and a considerable portion of the 
town was destroyed." Evidently, these burnings were against 
the orders of General Banks, who appears to have lost. authority 
over some of his troops. Moreover, in their rapid flight from 
Grand Ecore to Monette's Ferry, a distance of forty miles, the 
Federals burned nearly every house on the road. In pursuit, 
we passed the smoking ruins of homesteads, by which stood 
weeping women and children. Time for the removal of the 
most necessary articles of furniture had been refused. It was 
difficult to restrain one's inclination to punish the ruffians en- 
gaged in this work, a number of wham were captured ; but they 
asserted, and doubtless with truth, that they were acting under 
orders. 

From the universal testimony of citizens, I learned that 
13 



194: DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION". 

General Banks and the officers and men of the 19th corps, East- 
ern troops, exerted themselves to prevent these outrages, and 
that the perpetrators were the men of General A. J. Smith's 
command from Sherman's army. Educated at "West Point, this 
General Smith had long served in the regular army of the 
United States, and his men were from the West, whose brave 
sons might well afford kindness to women and babes. A key 
to their conduct can be found in the " Memoirs " of General 
W. T. Sherman, the commander who formed them, and whose 
views are best expressed in his own words. 

The city of Atlanta, from which the Confederates had with- 
drawn, was occupied by Slocum's corps of Sherman's army on 
the 2d of September, 1864. In vol. ii. of his " Memoirs," page 
111, General Sherman says : " I was resolved to make Atlanta 
a pure military garrison or depot, with no civil population to 
influence military measures. I gave notice of this purpose as 
early as the 4th of September, to General Halleck, in a letter 
concluding with these words : ' If the people raise a howl against 
my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war, and not 
popularity-seeking. If they want peace, they and their relations 
must stop the war.' " On pages 124-6 appears the correspondence 
of General Sherman with the mayor and councilmen of Atlanta 
concerning the removal of citizens, in which the latter write : 
" We petition you to reconsider the order requiring them to 
leave Atlanta. It will involve in the aggregate consequences 
appalling and heartrending. Many poor women are in an ad- 
vanced state of pregnancy, others now having young children, 
and whose husbands for the greater part are either in the army, 
prisoners, or dead. Some say, ' I have such a one sick at my 
house ; who will wait on them when I am gone ? ' Others say, 
' What are we to do ? we have no house to go to, and no means 
to buy, build, or rent any ; no parents, relatives, or friends to 
go to.' This being so, how is it possible for the people still 
here, mostly women and children, to find shelter ? And how 
can they live through the winter in the woods % " To this Gen- 
eral Sherman replies : "I have your letter of the 11th, in the 
nature of a petition to revoke my orders removing all the inhabi- 



ESCAPE OF BANKS AND PORTER. 195 

tants from Atlanta. I have read it carefully, and give full 
credit to your statements of the distress that will be occasioned, 
and yet shall not revoke my orders, because they were not in- 
tended to meet the humanities of the case. You might as well 
appeal against the thunderstorm as against these terrible hard- 
ships of war. They are inevitable ; and the only way the people 
of Atlanta can hope once more to live in peace and quiet at 
home is to stop the war, which can only be done by admitting 
that it began in error and is perpetuated in pride." Again, on 
page 152 is Sherman's telegram to General Grant : " Until we 
can repopulate Georgia, it is useless for us to occupy it ; but 
the utter destruction of its roads, houses, and people will cripple 
their military resources. I can make this march, and make 
Georgia howl." It could hardly be expected that troops trained 
by this commander would respect the humanities. 



CHAPTEK XII. 



EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI. 



Peosteated by two years of constant devotion to work — 
work so severe, stern, and exacting as to have prevented me 
from giving the slightest attention to my family, even when 
heavily afflicted — and persuaded that under existing administra- 
tion nothing would be accomplished in the " Trans-Mississippi 
Department," a month after the close of the Ked Eiver cam- 
paign I applied for relief from duty. After several applications 
this was granted, and with my wife and two surviving children 
I retired to the old Spanish-French town of Natchitoches. The 
inhabitants, though impoverished by the war, had a comfortable 
house ready for my family, to which they invited me, with all 
the warmth of Southern hearts and all the good taste of the 
Latin race. Here I remained for several weeks, when informa- 
tion of my promotion to lieutenant-general came from Rich- 
mond, with orders to report for duty on the east side of the 
Mississippi. The officers of my staff, who had long served with 
me, desired and were permitted to accompany me, with the ex- 
ception of Brent, now colonel of artillery, who could not be 
spared. Colonel Brent remained in west Louisiana until the 
close of the war, attaining the rank of brigadier. Of his merit 
and services I have already written. 

The Red River campaign of 1864 was the last Federal cam- 
paign undertaken for political objects, or intrusted to political 
generals. Experience taught the Washington Government that 
its enormous resources must be concentrated, and henceforth 
unity of purpose and action prevailed. Posts on the Mississippi 
between Memphis and New Orleans were strengthened, inter- 



EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI. 197 

veiling spaces closely guarded by numerous gunboats, and parties 
thrown ashore to destroy all boats that could be found. Though 
individuals, with precaution, could cross the great river, it was 
almost impossible to take over organized bodies of troops or sup- 
plies, and the Confederates on the west were isolated. The 
Federal Government now directed its energies against Richmond 
and Atlanta. 

Upon what foundations the civil authorities of the Con- 
federacy rested their hopes of success, after the campaign of 
1864 fully opened, I am unable to say ; but their commanders 
in the field, whose rank and position enabled them to estimate 
the situation, fought simply to afford statesmanship an oppor- 
tunity to mitigate the sorrows of inevitable defeat. 

A grand old oak, on the east bank of the Black River, the 
lower Washita, protected my couch ; and in the morning, with 
two guides, the faithful Tom following, I threaded my way 
through swamp and jungle to the Mississippi, which was reached 
at sunset. A light canoe was concealed some distance from the 
river bank, and after the short twilight faded into night this 
was borne on the shoulders of the guides, and launched. One 
of the guides embarked to paddle, and Tom and I followed, 
each leading a horse. A gunboat was lying in the river a short 
distance below, and even the horses seemed to understand the 
importance of silence, swimming quietly alongside of our frail 
craft. The eastern shore reached, we stopped for a time to rub 
and rest the cattle, exhausted by long-continued exertion in the 
water; then pushed on to "Woodville, some five and twenty 
miles east. This, the chief town of Wilkison county, Mississippi, 
was in telegraphic communication with Richmond, and I re- 
ported my arrival to the war office. An answer came, directing 
me to take command of the department of Alabama, Mississippi, 
etc., with the information that President Davis would shortly 
leave Richmond to meet me at Montgomery, Alabama. While 
awaiting telegram, I learned of the fall of Atlanta and the forts 
at the entrance of Mobile Bay. My predecessor in the depart- 
ment to the command of which telegraphic orders had just as- 
signed me was General Bishop Polk, to whom I accord all his 



198 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

titles ; for in him, after a sleep of several centuries, was awakened 
the church militant. Before he joined Johnston in northern 
Georgia, Polk's headquarters were at Meridian, near the eastern 
boundary of Mississippi, where the Mobile and Ohio Railway, 
running north, is crossed by the Yicksburg, Jackson, and Selma 
line, running east. To this point I at once proceeded, via 
Jackson, more than a hundred mile's northeast of Woodville. 
Grierson's and other " raids," in the past summer, had broken 
the New Orleans and Jackson Railway, so that I rode the dis- 
tance to the latter place. It was in September, and the fierce 
heat was trying to man and beast. The open pine forests of 
southern Mississippi obstruct the breeze, while affording no 
protection from the sun, whose rays are intensified by reflection 
from the white, sandy soil. Jackson reached, I stopped for an 
hour to see the Governor of Mississippi, Clarke, an old acquain- 
tance, and give instructions to Brigadier Wirt Adams, the local 
commander ; then took rail to Meridian, eighty miles, where I 
found the records of the department left by General Polk, as 
well as several officers of the general staff. These gentlemen 
had nothing especial to do, and appeared to be discharging that 
duty conscientiously ; but they were zealous and intelligent, and 
speedily enabled me to judge of the situation. Major-General 
Maury, in immediate command at Mobile, and the senior officer 
in the department before my arrival, had ordered General For- 
rest with his cavalry to Mobile in anticipation of an attack. 
Forrest himself was expected to pass through Meridian that 
evening, en route for Mobile. 

Just from the Mississippi river, where facilities for obtain- 
ing information from New Orleans were greater than at Mobile, 
I was confident that the enemy contemplated no immediate at- 
tack on the latter place. Accordingly, General Maury was in- 
formed by telegraph of my presence, that I assumed command 
of the department, and would arrest Forrest's movement. An 
hour later a train from the north, bringing Forrest in advance 
of his troops, reached Meridian, and was stopped ; and the Gen- 
eral, whom I had never seen, came to report. He was a tall, 
stalwart man, with grayish hair, mild countenance, and slow 



EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI. 199 

and homely of speech. In few words he was informed that I 
considered Mobile safe for the present, and that all our energies 
must be directed to the relief of Hood's army, then west of 
Atlanta. The only way to accomplish this was to worry Sher- 
man's communications north of the Tennessee river, and he 
must move his cavalry in that direction at the earliest moment. 

To my surprise, Forrest suggested many difficulties and asked 
numerous questions : how he was to get over the Tennessee ; 
how he was to get back if pressed by the enemy ; how he was 
to be supplied; what should be his line of retreat in certain 
contingencies ; what he was to do with prisoners if any were 
taken, etc. I began to think he had no stomach for the work ; 
but at last, having isolated the chances of success from causes 
of failure with the care of a chemist experimenting in his 
laboratory, he rose and asked for Fleming, the superintendent 
of the railway, who was on the train by which he had come. 
Fleming appeared — a little man on crutches (he had recently' 
broken a leg), but with the energy of a giant — and at once 
stated what he could do in the way of moving supplies on his 
line, which had been repaired up to the Tennessee boundary. 
Forrest's whole manner now changed. In a dozen sharp sen- 
tences he told his wants, said he would leave a staff officer to< 
bring up his supplies, asked for an engine to take him back, 
north twenty miles to meet his troops, informed me he would, 
march with the dawn, and hoped to give an account of himself, 
in Tennessee. 

Moving with great rapidity, he crossed the Tennessee river,, 
captured stockades with their garrisons, burned bridges, de- 
stroyed railways, reached the Cumberland River below Nashville,, 
drove away gunboats, captured and destroyed several transports 
with immense stores, and spread alarm over a wide region. The 
enemy concentrated on him from all directions, but he eluded 
or defeated their several columns, recrossed the Tennessee, and 
brought off fifteen hundred prisoners and much spoil. Like 
Clive, Nature made him a great soldier ; and he was without 
the former's advantages. Limited as was Olive's education, he 
was a Porson of erudition compared with Forrest,, who read 



200 DESTKUCTION AND KECONSTRUCTION. 

with difficulty. In the last weeks of the war he was much with 
me, and told me the story of his life. His father, a poor trader 
in negroes and mules, died when he was fifteen years of age, 
leaving a widow and several younger children dependent on 
him for support. To add to his burden, a posthumous infant 
was born some weeks after the father's death. Continuing the 
paternal occupations in a small way, he continued to maintain 
the family and give some education to the younger children. 
His character for truth, honesty, and energy was recognized, and 
he gradually achieved independence and aided his brethren to 
start in life. Such was his short story up to the war. 

Some months before the time of our first meeting, with two 
thousand men he defeated the Federal General Sturgis, who had 
five times his force, at Tishimingo ; and he repeated his success 
at Okalona, where his opponent, General Smith, had even greater 
odds against him. The battle of Okalona was fought on an 
open plain, and Forrest had no advantage of position to com- 
pensate for great inferiority of numbers ; but it is remarkable 
that he employed the tactics of Frederick at Leuthen and Zorn- 
dorf , though he had never heard these names. Indeed, his tac- 
tics deserve the closest study of military men. Asked after the 
war to what he attributed his success in so many actions, he re- 
plied : " Well, I got there first with the most men." Jomini 
could not have stated the key to the art of war more concisely. 
I doubt if any commander since the days of lion-hearted Rich- 
ard has killed as many enemies with his own hand as Forrest. 
His word of command as he led the charge was unique : " For- 
ward, men, and mix with 'em ! " But, while cutting down many 
a foe with long-reaching, nervous arm, his keen eye watched the 
whole fight and guided him to the weak spot. Yet he was a 
tender-hearted, kindly man. The accusations of his enemies 
that he murdered prisoners at Fort Pillow and elsewhere are 
absolutely false. The prisoners captured on his expedition into 
Tennessee, of which I have just written, were negroes, and he 
carefully looked after their wants himself, though in rapid move- 
ment and fighting much of the time. These negroes told me 
of Mass Forrest's kindness to them. After the war I frequently 



EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI. 201 

met General Forrest, and received many evidences of attach- 
ment from liim. He has passed away within a month, to the 
regret of all who knew him. In the States of Alabama, Mis- 
sissippi, and Tennessee, to generations yet unborn, his name 
will be a " household word." 

Having devoted several hours at Meridian to the work men- 
tioned, I took rail for Mobile, a hundred and forty miles. This 
town of thirty thousand inhabitants is situated on the west bank 
of the Alabama (here called Mobile) River, near its entrance 
into Mobile Bay, which is five-and-twenty miles long by ten 
broad. A month before my arrival Admiral Farragut had cap- 
tured Fort Morgan at the eastern mouth of the bay, after de- 
feating the Confederate fleet under Admiral Buchanan, who was 
severely wounded in the action. Two or three of Buchanan's 
vessels had escaped, and were in charge of Commodore Farrand 
near Mobile. The shallow waters of the bay were thickly 
planted with torpedoes, and many heavy guns were mounted 
near the town, making it safe in front. Mobile had excellent 
communications with the interior. The Alabama, Tombigby, 
and Black Warrior Rivers afforded steam navigation to central 
Alabama and eastern Mississippi, while the Mobile and Ohio 
Railway reached the northern limit of the latter State. Supplies 
from the fertile " cane-brake " region of Alabama and the prairies 
of eastern Mississippi were abundant. Before they abandoned 
Pensacola, the Confederates had taken up fifty miles of rails 
from the Pensacola and Montgomery line, and used them to 
make a connection between the latter place and Blakeley, at the 
eastern head of the bay, opposite Mobile. From the known 
dispositions of the Federal forces, I did not think it probable 
that any serious attempt on Mobile would be made until spring. 
Already in possession of Fort Morgan and Pensacola, thirty 
miles east of the first, and the best harbor on the Gulf, the 
enemy, when he attacked, would doubtless make these places 
his base. It was important, then, to look to defensive works on 
the east side of the bay, and such works were vigorously pushed 
at Blakeley, above mentioned, and at Spanish Fort, several miles 
south. I had no intention of standing a siege in Mobile, but 



202 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

desired to hold the place with a small force, so as to compel the 
employment of an army to reduce it ; and for this its situation 
was admirably adapted. The Mobile River, forty miles long, 
and formed by the Alabama and Tombigby, is but the estuary 
at the head of Mobile Bay, silted up with detritus by the enter- 
ing streams. Several miles wide, it incloses numerous marshy 
islands in its many channels. These features make its passage 
difficult, while the Mobile and Ohio Railway, trending to the 
west as it leaves the town to gain the high land above the valley, 
affords a ready means for the withdrawal of a limited force. 

The officer commanding at . Mobile was well qualified for 
his task.' Major-General D. H. Maury, nephew to the distin- 
guished Matthew Maury, formerly of the United States navy, 
graduated from West Point in time to serve in the war with 
Mexico, where he was wounded. A Yirginian, he resigned 
from the United States cavalry to share the fortunes of his 
State. Intelligent, upright, and devoted to duty, he gained the 
respect and confidence of the townspeople, and was thereby en- 
abled to supplement his regular force of eight thousand of all 
arms with a body of local militia. It was a great comfort to 
find an able officer in this responsible position, who not only 
adopted my plans, but improved and executed them. General 
Maury had some excellent officers under him, and the sequel 
will show how well they discharged their duty to the end. < 

From Mobile to Meridian, and after some days to Selma, 
ninety miles east. The railway between these last places had 
been recently laid down, and was very imperfect. There was no 
bridge over the Tombigby at Demopolis, and a steam ferry was 
employed. East of Demopolis, the line passed through the cane- 
brake country, a land of fatness. The army of Lee, starving in 
the trenches before Richmond and Petersburg, could have been 
liberally supplied from this district but for lack of transporta- 
tion. 

Here it may be asserted that we suffered less from inferiority 
of numbers than from want of mechanical resources. Most of 
the mechanics employed in the South were Northern men, and 
returned to their section at the outbreak of war. The loss of 



EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI. 203 

New Orleans, our only large city, aggravated this trouble, and 
we had no means of repairing the long lines of railway, nor the 
plant. Even when unbroken by raids, wear and tear rendered 
them inefficient at an early period of the struggle. This had a 
more direct influence on the sudden downfall of the Confederacy 
than is generally supposed. 

Selma, a place of some five thousand people, is on the north 
bank of the Alabama River, by which it has steam communica- 
tion with Mobile and Montgomery, forty miles above on the 
opposite bank. In addition to the railway from Meridian, there 
was a line running to the northeast in the direction of Dalton, 
Georgia, the existing terminus of which was at Blue Mountain, 
a hundred and odd miles from Selma ; and, to inspect the line, I 
went to Blue Mountain. This, the southern limit of the Alle- 
ghanies, which here sink into the great plain of the gulf, was 
distant from the Atlanta and Chattanooga Railway, Sherman's 
only line of communication, sixty miles. A force operating 
from Blue Mountain would approach this line at a right angle, 
and, drawing its supplies from the fertile country near Selma, 
would cover its own communications while threatening those of 
an enemy from Atlanta to Chattanooga. On this account the 
road might be of importance. 

Returning to Selma, I stopped at Talladega, on the east bank 
of the Coosa River, the largest affluent of the Alabama, and navi- 
gable by small steamers to Rome, Georgia. Here I met Briga- 
dier Daniel Adams, in local command, and learned much of the 
condition of the surrounding region. After passing Chattanooga 
the Tennessee River makes a great bend to the South, inclosing 
a part of Alabama between itself and the Tennessee State line ; 
and in this district was a small Confederate force under Briga- 
dier Roddy, which was enabled to maintain an exposed position 
by knowledge of the country. General Adams thought he could 
procure wire enough to establish communication with Roddy, 
or materially shorten the courier line between them ; and, as 
this would duplicate my means of getting news, especially of 
Forrest, he was directed to do so. I had no knowledge of Hood's 
plans or condition, saving that he had been defeated and was 



204: DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

southwest of Atlanta; but if he contemplated operations on 
Sherman's communications, which was his true policy, he must 
draw supplies from Selma, as much of the country between the 
Tennessee and Alabama Rivers was sterile and sparsely populated. 
Accordingly, I moved my headquarters to Selma and ordered 
the collection of supplies there, and at Talladega ; then took 
steamer for Montgomery, to meet the General Assembly of Ala- 
bama, called in extra session in view of the crisis produced by 
Hood's defeat and the fall of Atlanta. Just as the steamer was 
leaving Selma, I received dispatches from Forrest, announcing 
his first success after crossing the Tennessee river. Traveling 
alone, or with one staff officer, and unknown to the people, I had 
opportunities of learning something of the real state of public 
sentiment in my new department. Citizens were universally 
depressed and disheartened. Sick and wounded officers and 
men from Hood's army were dissatisfied with the removal of 
Johnston from command, and the subsequent conduct of affairs. 
From conversations in railway carriages and on river steamers I 
had gathered this, and nothing but this, since my arrival. 

Reaching Montgomery in the morning, I had interviews 
with the Governor and leading members of the Assembly, who 
promised all the assistance in their power to aid in the defense 
of the State. The Governor, Watts, who had resigned the 
office of Attorney-General of the Confederacy to accept his 
present position, was ever ready to cooperate with me. 

Late in the afternoon a dispatch was received from Presi- 
dent Davis, announcing his arrival for the following morning. 
He came, was received by the State authorities, visited the Cap- 
itol, addressed the Assembly, and then received leading citizens ; 
all of which consumed the day, and it was ten o'clock at night 
when he took me to his chamber, locked the door, and said we 
must devote the night to work, as it was imperative for him to 
return to Richmond the next morning. He began by saying 
that he had visited Hood and his army on his way to Mont- 
gomery, and was gratified to find officers and men in excellent 
spirits, not at all depressed by recent disasters, and that he 
thought well of a movement north toward Nashville. I ex- 



EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI. 205 

pressed surprise at his statement of the condition of Hood's 
army, as entirely opposed to the conclusions forced on me by 
all the evidence I could get, and warned him of the danger of 
listening to narrators who were more disposed to tell what was 
agreeable than what was true. He readily admitted that per- 
sons in his position were exposed to this danger. Proceeding 
to discuss the suggested movement toward Nashville, I thought 
it a serious matter to undertake a campaign into Tennessee in 
the autumn, with troops so badly equipped as were ours for the 
approaching winter. Every mile the army marched north, it 
was removing farther from supplies, and no reinforcements 
were to be hoped for from any quarter. Besides, Sherman 
could control force enough to garrison Chattanooga and Nash- 
ville, and, if time were allowed him to accumulate supplies at 
Atlanta by his one line of rail, could abandon everything south 
of Chattanooga, and with fifty thousand men, in the absence of 
Hood's army, march where he liked. The President asked 
what assistance might be expected from the trans-Mississippi. 
I replied, none. There would not be another gun fired there ; 
for the Federals had withdrawn their troops to concentrate east 
of the river. The difficulty of bringing over organized bodies 
of men was explained, with the addition of their unwillingness 
to come. The idea prevailed that the States west of the Missis- 
sippi had been neglected by the Government, and this idea had 
been encouraged by many in authority. So far from desiring 
to send any more men to the east, they clamored for the return 
of those already there. Certain senators and representatives, 
who had bitterly opposed the administration at Eichmond, 
talked much wild nonsense about setting up a government west 
of the Mississippi, uniting with Maximilian, and calling on 
Louis Napoleon for assistance. The President listened atten- 
tively to this, and asked, " "What then \ " I informed him of 
the work Forrest was doing, pointed out the advantages of Blue 
Mountain as a base from which to operate, and suggested that 
Hood's army be thrown on Sherman's line of railway, north of 
Atlanta. As Johnston had been so recently removed from com- 
mand, I would not venture to recommend his return, but be- 



206 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

lieved that our chances would be increased by the assignment 
of Beauregard to the army. He still retained some of the early 
popularity gained at Sumter and Manassas, and would awaken 
a certain enthusiasm. Apprehending no immediate danger for 
Mobile, I would strip the place of everything except gunners 
and join Beauregard with four thousand good troops. Even 
the smallest reenforcement is inspiriting to a defeated army, 
and by seizing his railway we would force Sherman to battle. 
Granting we would be whipped, we could fall back to Blue 
Mountain without danger of pursuit, as the enemy was chained 
to his line of supply, and we certainly ought to «nake the fight 
hot enough to cripple him for a time and delay his projected 
movements. At the same time, I did not disguise my convic- 
tion that the best we could hope for was to protract the struggle 
until spring. It was for statesmen, not soldiers, to deal with the 
future. 

The President said Beauregard should come, and, after con- 
sultation with Hood and myself, decide the movements of the 
army ; but that he was distressed to hear such gloomy senti- 
ments from me. I replied that it was my duty to express my 
opinions frankly to him, when he asked for them, though there 
would be impropriety in giving utterance to them before others ; 
but I did not admit the gloom. In fact, I had cut into this game 
with eyes wide open, and felt that in staking life, fortune, and 
the future of my children, the chances were against success. It 
was not for me, then, to whimper when the cards were bad ; 
that was the right of those who were convinced there would be 
no war, or at most a holiday affair, in which everybody could 
display heroism. With much other talk we wore through the 
night. In the morning he left, as he purposed, and I returned 
to Selma. My next meeting with President Davis was at For- 
tress Monroe, under circumstances to be related. 

Some days at Selma were devoted to accumulation of sup- 
plies, and General Maury was advised that he must be prepared 
to forward a part of his command to that place, when a message 
from Beauregard informed me that he was on the way to Blue 
Mountain and desired to meet me there. He had not seen 



EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI. 207 

Hood, whose army, after an ineffectual attack on Altoona, had 
left Sherman's line of communication, moved westward, and 
was now some fifteen miles to the north of Blue Mountain. 
Having told me this, Beauregard explained the orders under 
which he was acting. To my disappointment, he had not been 
expressly assigned to command Hood's army, but to the general 
direction of affairs in the southwest. General Maury, a capable 
officer, was at Mobile ; Forrest, with his cavalry division, I had 
sent into Tennessee ; and a few scattered men were watching 
the enemy in various quarters — all together hardly constituting 
a command for a lieutenant-general, my rank. Unless Beaure- 
gard took charge of Hood's army, there Was nothing for him to 
do except to command me. Here was a repetition of 1863. 
Then Johnston was sent with a roving commission to command 
Bragg in Tennessee, Pemberton in Mississippi, and others in 
sundry places. The result was that he commanded nobody, 
and, when Pemberton was shut up in Yicksburg, found him- 
self helpless, with a handful of troops, at Jackson. To give an 
officer discretion to remove another from command of an army 
in the field is to throw upon him the responsibility of doing it, 
and this should be assumed by the government, not left to an 
individual. 

However, I urged on Beauregard the considerations mentioned 
in my interview with President Davis, that Sherman had detached 
to look after Forrest, was compelled to keep garrisons at many 
points from Atlanta to Nashville, and, if forced to action fifty 
or sixty miles north of the former place, would be weaker then 
than we could hope to find him later, after he had accumulated 
supplies. I mentioned the little reenforcement we could have 
at once from Mobile, my readiness to take any command, divi- 
sion, brigade, or regiment to which he might assign me, and, 
above all, the necessity of prompt action. There were two per- 
sons present, Colonel Brent, of Beauregard's staff, and Mr. 
Charles Yillere, a member of the Confederate Congress from 
Louisiana. The former said all that was proper for a staff offi- 
cer in favor of my views ; the latter, Beauregard's brother-in- 
law, warmly urged their adoption. The General ordered his 



208 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

horse, to visit Hood, and told me to await intelligence from 
him. On his return from Hood, he informed me that the army 
was moving to the northwest, and would cross the Tennessee 
river near the Muscle Shoals. As this plan of campaign had 
met the sanction of President Davis, and Hood felt confident 
of success, he declined to interfere. I could not blame Beaure- 
gard ; for it was putting a cruel responsibility on him to super- 
sede a gallant veteran, to whom fortune had been adverse. 
There was nothing to be said and nothing to be done, saving to 
discharge one's duty to the bitter end. Hood's line of march 
would bring him within reach of the Mobile and Ohio Railway 
in northern Mississippi, and supplies could be sent him by that 
road. Selma ceased to be of importance, and my quarters were 
returned to Meridian. Forrest, just back from Tennessee, was 
advised of Hood's purposes and ordered to cooperate. Maury 
was made happy by the information that he would lose none of 
his force, and the usual routine of inspections, papers, etc., occu- 
pied the ensuing weeks. 

My attention was called about this time to the existence of a 
wide-spread evil. A practice had grown up of appointing pro- 
vost-marshals to take private property for public use, and every 
little post commander exercised the power to appoint such offi- 
cials. The land swarmed with these vermin, appointed without 
due authority, or self-constituted, who robbed the people of 
horses, mules, cattle, corn, and meat. The wretched peasants 
of the middle ages could not have suffered more from the " free 
companies" turned loose upon them. Loud complaints came 
up from State governors and from hundreds of good citizens. 
I published an order, informing the people that their property 
was not to be touched unless by authority given by me and in 
accordance with the forms of law, and they were requested to 
deal with all violators of the order as with highwaymen. This 
put an end to the tyranny, which had been long and universally 
submitted to. 

The readiness of submission to power displayed by the 
American people in the war was astonishing. Our British fore- 
fathers transmitted to us respect for law and love of liberty 



EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI. 209 

founded upon it ; but the influence of universal suffrage seemed 
to have destroyed all sense of personal manhood, all conception 
of individual rights. It may be said of the South, that its peo- 
ple submitted to wrong because they were engaged in a fierce 
struggle with superior force ; but what of the North, whose 
people were fighting for conquest % Thousands were opposed 
to the war, and hundreds of thousands to its conduct and ob- 
jects. The wonderful vote received by McClellan in 1864 
showed the vast numbers of the Northern minority ; yet, so far 
from modifying in the smallest degree the will and conduct of 
the majority, this multitude of men dared not give utterance to 
their real sentiments ; and the same was true of the South at 
the time of secession. Reformers who have tried to improve the 
morals of humanity, discoverers who have striven to alleviate 
its physical conditions, have suffered martyrdom at its hands. 
Years upon years have been found necessary to induce the 
masses to consider, much less adopt, schemes for their own 
advantage. A government of numbers, then, is not one of vir- 
tue or intelligence, but of force, intangible, irresistible, irre- 
sponsible — resembling that of Csesar depicted by the great his- 
torian, which, covering the earth as a pall, reduced all to a com- 
mon level of abject servitude. For many years scarce a de- 
scendant of the colonial gentry in the Eastern States has been 
elected to public office. To-day they have no existence even as 
a social force and example. Under the baleful influence of 
negro suffrage it is impossible to foretell the destiny of the 
South. Small wonder that pure democracies have ever proved; 
ready to exchange " Demos " for some other tyrant. 

Occasional visits for inspection were made to Mobile, where' 
Maury was strengthening his defenses. On the east side of the 
bay, Blakeley and Spanish Fort were progressing steadily, as I 
held that the enemy would attack there, tempted by his posses- 
sion of Pensacola and Fort Morgan. Although thib opinion, 
was justified in the end, hope may have had some influence in 
its formation ; for we could meet attack from that quarter 
better than from the west, which, indeed, would have speedily 
driven us from the place. The loss of the Mobile and. Ohio 
14 



210 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

railway would have necessitated the withdrawal of the garri- 
son across the bay, a difficult operation, if pressed by superior 
force. 

The Confederate Congress had enacted that negro troops, 
captured, should be restored to their owners. ~$Ve had several 
hundreds of such, taken by Forrest in Tennessee, whose owners 
could not be reached ; and they were put to work on the forti- 
fications at Mobile, rather for the purpose of giving them 
healthy employment than for the value of the work. I made 
it a point to visit their camps and inspect the quantity and 
quality of their food, always found to be satisfactory. On one 
occasion, while so engaged, a fine-looking negro, who seemed to 
be leader among his comrades, approached me and said : " Thank 
you, Massa General, they give us plenty of good victuals ; but 
how you like our work ? " I replied that they had worked very 
well. " If you will give us guns we will fight for these works, 
too. We would rather fight for our own white folks than for 
strangers." And, doubtless, this was true. In their dealings 
with the negro the white men of the South should ever remem- 
ber that no instance of outrage occurred during the war. Their 
wives and little ones remained safe at home, surrounded by 
thousands of faithful slaves, who worked quietly in the fields 
until removed by the Federals. This is the highest testimony 
to the kindness of the master and the gentleness of the servant ; 
and all the dramatic talent prostituted to the dissemination of 
falsehood in " Uncle Tom's Cabin " and similar productions can . 
not rebut it. 

About the middle of November I received from General 
Lee, now commanding the armies of the Confederacy, instruc- 
tions to visit Macon and Savannah, Georgia, if I could leave my 
department, and report to him the condition of affairs 4 in that 
quarter, and the probabilities of Sherman's movements, as the 
latter had left Atlanta. I proceeded at once, taking rail at 
Montgomery, and reached Macon, via Columbus, Georgia, at 
dawn. It was the bitterest weather I remember in this latitude. 
The ground was frozen and some snow was falling. General 
Howell Cobb, the local commander, met me at the station and 



EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI. 211 

took me to his house, which was also his office. Arrived there, 
horses appeared, and Cobb said he supposed that I would desire 
to ride out and inspect the fortifications, on which he had been 
at work all night, as the enemy was twelve miles north of 
Macon at noon of the preceding day. I asked what force he 
had to defend the place. He stated the number, which was 
utterly inadequate, and composed of raw conscripts. Where- 
upon I declined to look at the fortifications, and requested him 
to order work upon them to be stopped, so that his men could 
get by a fire, as I then was and intended to remain. I had ob- 
served a movement of stores in passing the railway station, and 
now expressed the opinion that Macon was the safest place in 
Georgia, and advised Cobb to keep his stores. Here entered 
General Mackall, one of Cobb's subordinates, who was person- 
ally in charge of the defensive works, and could not credit the 
order he had received to stop. Cobb referred him to me, and I 
said : " The enemy was but twelve miles from you at noon of 
yesterday. Had he intended coming to Macon, you would have 
seen him last evening, before you had time to strengthen works 
or remove stores." This greatly comforted Cobb, who up to 
that moment held me to be a lunatic. Breakfast was suggested, 
to which I responded with enthusiasm, having been on short 
commons for many hours. "While we were enjoying the meal, 
intelligence was brought that the enemy had disappeared from 
the north of Macon and marched eastward. Cobb was delighted. 
He pronounced me to be the wisest of generals, and said he 
knew nothing of military affairs, but had entered the service 
from a sense of duty. 

Cobb had been Speaker of the United States House of Eep- 
resentatives, and Secretary of the Treasury in the administra- 
tion of President Buchanan. Beloved and respected in his 
State, he had been sent to Georgia to counteract the influence 
of Governor Joe Brown, who, carrying out the doctrine of State 
rights, had placed himself in opposition to President Davis. 
Cobb, with his conscripts, had been near Atlanta before Sher- 
man moved out, and gave me a laughable account of the expe- 
ditious manner in which he and " his little party " got to Ma- 



212 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

con, just as he was inditing a superb dispatch to General Lee to 
inform him of the impossibility of Sherman's escape. 

While we were conversing Governor Brown was announced, 
as arrived from Milledgeville, the State capital, forty miles to 
the northeast. Cobb remarked that it was awkward ; for Gov- 
ernor Brown was the only man in Georgia to whom he did not 
speak. But he yielded to the ancient jest, that for the time 
being we had best hang together, as there seemed a possibility 
of enjoying that amusement separately, and brought the Gov- 
ernor in, who told me that he had escaped from Milledgeville 
as the Federals entered. People said that he had brought off 
his cow and his cabbages, and left the State's property to take 
care of itself. However, Governor Brown deserves praise at 
my hands, for he promptly acceded to all my requests. "With 
him were General Robert Toombs, the most original of men, 
and General G. "W. Smith, both of whom had been in the Con- 
federate army. Toombs had resigned to take the place of 
Adjutant-General of Georgia ; Smith, to superintend some iron 
works, from which he had been driven by Sherman's move- 
ments, and was now in command of Governor Brown's " army," 
composed of men that he had refused to the Confederate ser- 
vice. This " army " had some hours before marched east to- 
ward Savannah, taking the direct route along the railway. I 
told the Governor that his men would be captured unless they 
were called back at once ; and Smith, who undertook the duty 
in person, was just in time. " Joe Brown's army " struck the 
extreme right of Sherman, and suffered some loss before Smith 
could extricate it. To Albany, ninety miles south of Macon, 
there was a railway, and some forty miles farther south, across 
the country, Thomasville was reached. Here was the terminus 
of the Savannah and Gulf Railway, two hundred miles, or 
thereabouts, southwest of Savannah. This route I decided to 
take, and suggested it to the Governor as the only safe one for 
his troops. He acquiesced at once, and Toombs promised to 
have transportation ready by the time Smith returned. Taking 
leave of Cobb, I departed. 

Several years after the close of the war General Cobb and I 



EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI. 213 

happened to be in New York, accompanied by our families, 
but stopping at different inns. He dined with me, seemed in 
excellent health and spirits, and remained to a late hour, talking 
over former times and scenes. I walked to his lodgings with 
him, and promised to call with my wife on Mrs. Cobb the fol- 
lowing day at 1 o'clock. We were there at the hour, when the 
servant, in answer to my request to take up our cards, stated 
that General Cobb had just fallen dead. I sprang up the stair, 
and saw his body lying - on the floor of a room, his wife, dazed 
by the shock, looking on. A few minutes before he had writ- 
ten a letter and started for the office of the inn to post it, re- 
marking to his wife that he would return immediately, as he 
expected our visit. A step from the threshold, and he was 
dead. Thus suddenly passed away one of the most genial and 
generous men I have known. His great fortune suffered much 
by the war, but to the last he shared its remains with less for- 
tunate friends. 

Traveling all night, I reached Thomasville in the early morn- 
ing, and found that there was telegraphic communication with 
General Hardee at Savannah, whom I informed of my pres- 
ence and requested to send down transportation for Governor 
Brown's troops. There was much delay at Thomasville, the 
railway people appearing to think that Sherman was swarming 
all over Georgia. At length I discovered an engine and a 
freight van, which the officials promised to get ready for me ; 
but they were dreadfully slow, until Toombs rode into town 
and speedily woke them up. Smith returned to Macon after 
my departure, found transportation ready for his men, brought 
them to Albany by rail, and was now marching to Thomasville. 
Toombs, who had ridden on in advance, was not satisfied with 
Hardee's reply to my dispatch, but took possession of the tele- 
graph and threatened dire vengeance on superintendents and 
road masters if they failed to have the necessary engines and 
carriages ready in time. He damned the dawdling creatures 
who had delayed me to such an extent as to make them ener- 
getic, and my engine appeared, puffing with anxiety to move. 
He assured me that he would not be many hours after me at 



214: DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

Savannah, for Smith did not intend to halt on the road, as his 
men could rest in the carriages. A man of extraordinary en- 
ergy, this same Toombs. 

Savannah was reached about midnight, and Hardee was 
awaiting me. A short conversation cleared the situation and 
enabled me to send the following report to General Lee. Au- 
gusta, Georgia, held by General Bragg with a limited force, 
was no longer threatened, as the enemy had passed south of it. 
Sherman, with sixty or seventy thousand men, was moving on 
the high, ground between the Savannah and Ogeechee Eivers ; 
and as this afforded a dry, sandy road direct to Savannah, where 
he would most readily meet the Federal fleet, it was probable 
that he would adhere to it. He might cross the Savannah 
river forty or fifty miles above and march on Charleston, but 
this was hardly to be expected ; for, in addition to the river 
named, there were several others and a difficult country to pass 
before Charleston could be reached, and his desire to communi- 
cate with the fleet by the nearest route and in the shortest time 
must be considered. Hardee's force was inadequate to the de- 
fense of Savannah, and he should prepare to abandon the place 
before he was shut up. Uniting, Bragg and Hardee should 
call in the garrison from Charleston, and all scattered forces 
along the coast south of Wilmington, North Carolina, and be 
prepared to resist Sherman's march through the Carolinas, 
which he must be expected to undertake as soon as he had es- 
tablished a base on the ocean. Before this report was dis- 
patched, Hardee read and approved it. 

Meanwhile scores of absurd rumors about the enemy came 
in. Places I had passed within an hour were threatened by 
heavy columns ; others, from which the enemy was distant a 
hundred miles, were occupied, etc. But one of importance did 
come. The railway from Savannah to Charleston passes near 
the coast. The officer commanding at Pocotaligo, midway of 
the two places, reported an advance of the enemy from Port 
Royal, and that he must abandon his post the following morn- 
ing unless reenforced. To lose the Charleston line would seri- 
ously interfere with the concentration just recommended. 



EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI. 215 

Hardee said that lie could ill spare men, and had no means of 
moving them promptly. I bethought me of Toombs, Smith, 
and Governor Brown's "army." The energetic Toombs had 
frightened the railway people iuto moving him, and, from his 
telegrams, might be expected before dawn. Hardee thought 
but little of the suggestion, because the ground of quarrel be- 
tween Governor Brown and President Davis was the refusal of 
the former to allow his guards to serve beyond their state. 
However, I had faith in Toombs and Smith. A short distance 
to the south of Savannah, on the Gulf road, was a switch by 
which carriages could be shunted on to a connection with the 
Charleston line. I wrote to Toombs of the emergency, and 
sent one of Hardee's staff to meet him at the switch. The 
governor's army was quietly shunted off and woke up at Poco- 
taligo in South Carolina, where it was just in time to repulse 
the enemy after a spirited little action, thereby saving the rail- 
way. Doubtless the Georgians, a plucky people, would Mve 
responded to an appeal to leave their State under the circum- 
stances, but Toombs enjoyed the joke of making them uncon- 
scious patriots. 

In the past autumn Cassius Clay of Kentucky killed a col- 
ored man who had attacked him. For more than thirty years 
Mr. Clay had advocated the abolition of slavery, and at the risk 
of his life. Dining with Toombs in New York just after the 
event, he said to me : " Seen the story about old Cassius Clay ? 
Been an abolitionist all his days, and ends by shooting a- nigger. 
I knew he would." A droll fellow is Bobert Toombs. Full of 
talent and well instructed, he affects quaint and provincial forms 
of speech. His influence in Georgia is great, and he is a man 
to know. 

Two days at Savannah served to accomplish the object of 
my mission, and, taking leave of Hardee, I returned to my own 
department. An educated soldier of large experience, Hardee 
was among the best of our subordinate generals, and, indeed, 
seemed to possess the requisite qualities for supreme command ; 
but this he steadily refused, alleging his unfitness for respon- 
sibility. Such modesty is not a common American weakness, 



216 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

and deserves to be recorded. General Hardee's death occurred 
after the close of the war. 

In this journey through Georgia, at Andersonville, I passed 
in sight of a large stockade inclosing prisoners of war. The 
train stopped for a few moments, and there entered the carriage, 
to speak to me, a man who said his name was Wirtz, and that 
he was in charge of the prisoners near by. He complained of 
the inadequacy of his guard and of the want of supplies, as the 
adjacent region was sterile and thinly populated. He also said 
that the prisoners were suffering from cold, were destitute of 
blankets, and that he had not wagons to supply fuel. He 
showed me duplicates of requisitions and appeals for relief that 
he had made to different authorities, and these I indorsed in 
the strongest terms possible, hoping to accomplish some good. 
I know nothing of this "Wirtz, whom I then met for the first 
and only time, but he appeared to be earnest in his desire to 
mmgate the condition of his prisoners. There can be but little 
doubt that his execution was a " sop " to the passions of the 
" many-headed." 

Returned to Meridian, the situation of Hood in Tennessee 
absorbed all my attention. He had fought at Franklin, and 
was now near Nashville. Franklin was a bloody affair, in which 
Hood lost many of his best officers and troops. The previous 
evening, at dusk, a Federal column, retreating north, passed 
within pistol-shot of Hood's forces, and an attack on it might 
have produced results ; but it reached strong works at Franklin, 
and held them against determined assaults, until night enabled 
it to withdraw quietly to Nashville. This mistake may be as- 
cribed to Hood's want of physical activity, occasioned by severe 
wounds and amputations, which might have been considered 
before he was assigned to command. Maurice of Saxe won 
Fontenoy in a litter, unable from disease to mount his horse ; 
but in war it is hazardous to convert exceptions into rules. 

Notwithstanding his frightful loss at Franklin, Hood fol- 
lowed the enemy to Nashville, and took position south of the 
place, where he remained ten days or more. It is difficult to 
imagine what objects he had in view. The town was open to 



EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI. 217 

the north, whence the Federal commander, Thomas, was hourly 
receiving reinforcements, while he had none to hope for. His 
plans perfected and his reinforcements joined, Thomas moved, 
and Hood was driven off ; and, had the Federal general pos- 
sessed dash equal to his tenacity and caution, one fails to see 
how Hood could have brought man or gun across the Tennessee 
Kiver. It is painful to criticise Hood's conduct of this cam- 
paign. Like JSey, " the bravest of the brave," he was a splen- 
did leader in battle, and as a brigade or division commander 
unsurpassed ; but, arrived at higher rank, he seems to have been 
impatient of control, and openly disapproved of Johnston's 
conduct of affairs between Dalton and Atlanta. Unwillingness 
to obey is often interpreted by governments into capacity for 
command. 

Reaching the southern bank of the Tennessee, Hood asked 
to be relieved, and a telegraphic order assigned me to the duty. 
At Tupelo, on the Mobile and Ohio Railway, a hundred and 
odd miles north of Meridian, I met him and the remains of his 
army. Within my experience were assaults on positions, in 
which heavy losses were sustained without success ; but the 
field had been held — retreats, but preceded by repulse of the 
foe and followed by victory. This was my first view of a 
beaten army, an army that for four years had shown a constancy 
worthy of the " Ten Thousand " ; and a painful sight it was. 
Many guns and small arms had been lost, and the ranks were 
depleted by thousands of prisoners and missing. Blankets, 
shoes, clothing, and accouterments were wanting. I have writ- 
ten of the unusual severity of the weather in the latter part of 
November, and it was now near January. Some men perished 
by frost ; many had the extremities severely bitten. Fleming, 
the active superintendent mentioned, strained the resources of 
his railway to transport the troops to the vicinity of Meridian, 
where timber for shelter and fuel was abundant and supplies 
convenient ; and every energy was exerted to reequip them. 

Sherman was now in possession of Savannah, but an interior 
line of rail by Columbus, Macon, and Augusta, Georgia, and 
Columbia, South Carolina, was open. Mobile was not imme- 



218 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

diately threatened, and was of inferior importance as compared 
with the safety of Lee's army at Petersburg. Unless a force 
could be interposed between Sherman and Lee's rear, the game 
would be over when the former moved. Accordingly, I dis- 
patched to General Lee the suggestion of sending the " Army 
of Tennessee " to North Carolina, where Johnston had been 
restored to command. He approved, and directed me to send 
forward the men as rapidly as possible. I had long dismissed 
all thought of the future. The duty of a soldier in the field is 
simple — to fight until stopped by the civil arm of his govern- 
ment, or his government has ceased to exist ; and military men 
have usually come to grief by forgetting this simple duty. 

Forrest had fought and worked hard in this last Tennessee 
campaign, and his division of cavalry was broken down. By 
brigades it was distributed to different points in the prairie and 
cane-brake regions, where forage could be had, and I hoped for 
time to restore the cattle and refit the command. With our 
limited resources of transportation, it was a slow business to 
forward troops to Johnston in North Carolina ; but at length it 
was accomplished, and the month of March came round to raise 
the curtain for the last act of the bloody drama. Two clouds 
appeared on the horizon of my department. General Canby, a 
steady soldier, whom I had long known, had assumed command 
of all the Federal forces in the southwest, and was concentrat- 
ing fifty thousand men at Fort Morgan and Pensacola against 
Mobile. In northern Alabama General "Wilson had ten thou- 
sand picked mounted men ready for an expedition. At Selma 
was a foundry, where the best ordnance" I have seen was made 
of Briarsfield iron, from a furnace in the vicinity ; and, as this 
would naturally attract the enemy's attention to Selma, I en- 
deavored to prepare for him. The Cahawba River, from the 
northeast, enters the Alabama below Selma, north of which it 
separates the barren mineral region from the fertile lands of the 
river basin; and at its crossing I directed Forrest to concen- 
trate. 

"Wilson, with the smallest body, would probably move first ; 
and, once disposed of, Forrest could be sent south of the Alabama 



EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI. 219 

River to delay Canby and prolong the defense of Mobile. For 
a hundred miles north of the gulf the country is sterile, pine 
forest on a soil of white sand; but the northern end of the 
Montgomery and Pensacola Railway was in our possession, and 
would enable us to transport supplies. In a conference with 
Maury at Mobile I communicated the above to him, as I had 
previously to Forrest, and hastened to Selma. Distributed for 
forage, and still jaded by hard work, Forrest ordered his brigades 
to the Cahawba crossing, leading one in person. His whole force 
would have been inferior to Wilson's, but he was a host in him- 
self, and a dangerous adversary to meet at any reasonable odds. 
Our information of the enemy had proved extremely accu- 
rate ; but in this instance the Federal commander moved with 
unusual rapidity, and threw out false signals. Forrest, with one 
weak brigade, was in the path ; but two of his brigadiers per- 
mitted themselves to be deceived by reports of the enemy's 
movements toward Columbus, Mississippi, and turned west, 
while another went into camp under some misconception of 
orders. Forrest fought as if the world depended on his arm, 
and sent to advise me of the deceit practiced on two of his bri- 
gades, but hoped to stop the enemy if he could get up the third, 
the absence of which he could not account for. I directed such 
railway plant as we had to be moved out on the roads, retaining 
a small yard engine to take me off at the last moment. There 
was nothing more to be done. Forrest appeared, horse and man 
covered with blood, and announced the enemy at his heels, and 
that I must move at once to escape capture. I felt anxious for 
him, but he said he was unhurt and would cut his way through, 
as most of his men had done, whom he had ordered to meet him 
west of the Cahawba. My engine started toward Meridian, and 
barely escaped. Before headway was attained the enemy was 
upon us, and capture seemed inevitable. Fortunately, the group 
of horsemen near prevented their comrades from firing, so we 
had only to risk a fusillade from a dozen, who fired wild. The 
driver and stoker, both negroes, were as game as possible, and 
as we thundered across Cahawba bridge,, all safe, raised a loud 
" Yah ! yah ! " of triumph, and smiled like two sable angels. 



220 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

Wilson made no delay at Selma, but, crossing the Alabama 
River, pushed on to Montgomery, and thence into Georgia. I 
have never met this General Wilson, whose soldierly qualities 
are entitled to respect; for of all the Federal expeditions of 
which I have any knowledge, his was the best conducted. 

It would have been useless to pursue Wilson, had there been 
troops disposable, as many hundred miles intervened between 
him and North Carolina, where Johnston commanded the nearest 
Confederate forces, too remote to be affected by his movements. 
Canby was now before the eastern defenses of Mobile, and it 
was too late to send Forrest to that quarter. He was therefore 
directed to draw together and reorganize his division near Me- 
ridian. 



CHAPTEE XIII. 

CLOSING OPERATIONS OF THE WAE — SUEEENDEE. 

On the 26th of March Canby invested Spanish Fort, and 
began the siege by regular approaches, a part of his army invest- 
ing Blakeley on the same day. General !R. L. Gibson, now a 
member of Congress from Louisiana, held Spanish Fort with 
twenty-five hundred men. Fighting all day and working all 
night, Gibson successfully resisted the efforts of the immense 
force against him until the evening of April 8, when the enemy 
effected a lodgment threatening his only route of evacuation. 
Under instructions from Maury, he withdrew his garrison in 
the night to Mobile, excepting his pickets, necessarily left. 
Gibson's stubborn defense and skillful retreat make this one of 
the best achievements of the war. Although invested on the 
26th of March, the siege of Blakeley was not pressed until April 
1, when Steele's corps of Canby's army joined the original force 
before it. Here, with a garrison of twenty-eight hundred men, 
commanded General Liddell, with General Cockrell, now a 
Senator from Missouri, as his second. Every assault of the 
enemy, who made but little progress, was gallantly repulsed 
until the afternoon of the 9th, when, learning by the evacuation 
of Spanish Fort how small a force had delayed him, he concen- 
trated on Blakeley and carried it, capturing the garrison. Maury 
intended to withdraw Liddell during the night of the 9th. It 
would have been more prudent to have done so on the night of 
the 8th, as the enemy would naturally make an energetic effort 
after the fall of Spanish Fort ; but he was unwilling to yield 
any ground until the last moment, and felt confident of holding 
the place another day. After dismantling his works, Maury 



222 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

marched out of Mobile on the 12th of April, with forty-five 
hundred men, including three field batteries, and was directed 
to Cuba Station, near Meridian. In the interest of the thirty- 
thousand non-combatants of the town, he properly notified the 
enemy that the place was open. During the movement from 
Mobile toward Meridian occurred the last engagement of the 
civil war, in a cavalry affair between the Federal advance and 
our rear guard under Colonel Spence. Commodore Farrand 
took his armed vessels and all the steamers in the harbor up the 
Tombigby River, above its junction with the Alabama, and 
planted torpedoes in the stream below. Forrest and Maury had 
about eight thousand men, but tried and true. Cattle were 
shod, wagons overhauled, and every preparation for rapid move- 
ment made. 

From the North, by wire and courier, I received early intel- 
ligence of passing events. Indeed, these were of a character for 
the enemy to disseminate rather than suppress. Before Maury 
left Mobile I had learned of Lee's surrender, rumors of which 
spreading among the troops, a number from the neighboring 
camps came to see me. I confirmed the rumor, and told them 
the astounding news, just received, of President Lincoln's assas- 
sination. For a time they were silent with amazement, then 
asked if it was possible that any Southern man had committed 
the act. There was a sense of relief expressed when they learned 
that the wretched assassin had no connection with the South, 
but was an actor, whose brains were addled by tragedies and 
Plutarch's fables. 

It was but right to tell these gallant, faithful men the whole 
truth concerning our situation. The surrender of Lee left us 
little hope of success ; but while Johnston remained in arms 
we must be prepared to fight our way to him. Again, the 
President and civil authorities of our Government were on their 
way to the south, and might need our protection. Granting the 
cause for which we had fought to be lost, we owed it to our own 
manhood, to the memory of the dead, and to the honor of our 
arms, to remain steadfast to the last. This was received, not 
with noisy cheers, but. solemn murmurs of approval, showing 



CLOSING OPERATIONS OF THE WAR. 223 

that it was understood and adopted. Forrest and Maury shared 
my opinions and objects, and impressed them on their men. 
Complete order was maintained throughout, and public property 
protected, though it was known later that this would be turned 
over to the Federal authorities. A considerable amount of gold 
was near our camps, and safely guarded ; yet it is doubtful if our 
united means would have sufficed to purchase a breakfast. 

Members of the Confederate Congress from the adjoining 
and more western States came to us. These gentlemen had 
left Richmond very hurriedly, in the first days of April, and 
were sorely jaded by fatigue and anxiety, as the presence of 
Wilson's troops in Georgia had driven them to by-paths to 
escape capture. Arrived at a well-ordered camp, occupied by a 
formidable-looking force, they felt as storm-tossed mariners in a 
harbor of refuge, and, ignorant of recent events, as well as un- 
certain of the future, were eager for news and counsel. The 
struggle was virtually over, and the next few days, perhaps 
hours, would decide my course. In my judgment it would 
speedily become their duty to go to their respective homes. 
They had been the leaders of the people, had sought and 
accepted high office at their hands, and it was for them to teach 
the masses, by example and precept, how best to meet impend- 
ing troubles. Possibly they might suffer annoyance and perse- 
cution from Federal power, but manhood and duty required 
them to incur the risk. To the credit of these gentlemen it 
should be recorded that they followed this advice when the time 
for action came. There was one exception which deserves 
mention. 

Ex-Governor Harris, now a United States Senator from 
Tennessee, occupied the executive chair of his State in 1862, 
and withdrew from Nashville when the army of General Sidney 
Johnston retreated to the Tennessee River in the spring of that 
year. By the death of President Lincoln, Andrew Johnson had 
succeeded to power, and he was from Tennessee, and the per- 
sonal enemy of Governor Harris. The relations of their State 
with the Federal Union had been restored, and Harris's return 
would be productive of discord rather than peace. I urged him 



224 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

to leave the country for a time, and offered to aid him in cross- 
ing the Mississippi River; but he was very unwilling to go, 
and only consented after a matter was arranged, which I antici- 
pate the current of events to relate. He had brought away 
from Nashville the coin of the Bank of Tennessee, which, as 
above mentioned, was now in our camp. An official of the 
bank had always been in immediate charge of this coin, but 
Harris felt that honor was involved in its safe return. At my 
request, General Canby detailed an officer and escort to take the 
coin to Nashville, where it arrived intact; but the unhappy 
official accompanying it was incarcerated for his fidelity. Had 
he betrayed his trust, he might have received rewards instead of 
stripes. 'Tis dangerous to be out of harmony with the practices 
of one's time. 

Intelligence of the Johnston-Sherman convention reached 
us, and Canby and I were requested by the officers making it to 
conform to its terms until the civil authorities acted. A meeting 
was arranged to take place a few miles north of Mobile, where 
the appearance of the two parties contrasted the fortunes of our 
respective causes. Canby, who preceded me at the appointed 
spot, a house near the railway, was escorted by a brigade with a 
military band, and accompanied by many officers in " full fig." 
With one officer, Colonel "William Levy, since a member of Con- 
gress from Louisiana, I made my appearance on a hand-car, the 
motive power of which was two negroes. Descendants of the 
ancient race of Abraham, dealers in cast-off raiment, would have 
scorned to bargain for our rusty suits of Confederate gray. 
General Canby met me with much urbanity. We retired to a 
room, and in a few moments agreed upon a truce, terminable 
after forty-eight hours' notice by either party. Then, rejoining 
the throng of officers, introductions and many pleasant civilities 
passed. I was happy to recognize Commodore (afterward 
Admiral) James Palmer, an old friend. He was second to 
Admiral Thatcher, commanding United States squadron in 
Mobile Bay, and had come to meet me. A bountiful luncheon 
was spread, of which we partook, with joyous poppings of 
champagne corks for accompaniment, the first agreeable explo- 



CLOSING OPERATIONS OF THE WAR. 225 

sive sounds I had heard for years. The air of " Hail Columbia," 
which the band in attendance struck up, was instantly changed 
by Canby's order to that of " Dixie " ; but I insisted on the first, 
and expressed a hope that Columbia would be again a happy 
land, a sentiment honored by many libations. 

There was, as ever, a skeleton at the feast, in the person of 
a general officer who had recently left Germany to become a 
citizen and soldier of the United States. This person, with the 
strong accent and idioms of the Fatherland, comforted me by 
assurances that we of the South would speedily recognize our 
ignorance and errors, especially about slavery and the rights of 
States, and rejoice in the results of the war. In vain Canby 
and Palmer tried to suppress him. On a celebrated occasion an 
Emperor of Germany proclaimed himself above grammar, and 
this earnest philosopher was not to be restrained by canons of 
taste. I apologized meekly for my ignorance, on the ground 
that my ancestors had come from England to Virginia in 1608, 
and, in the short intervening period of two hundred and fifty- 
odd years, had found no time to transmit to me correct ideas of 
the duties of American citizenship. Moreover, my grandfather, 
commanding the 9th Virginia regiment in our Revolutionary 
army, had assisted in the defeat and capture of the Hessian- 
mercenaries at Trenton, and I lamented that he had not, by 
association with these worthies, enlightened his understanding. 
My friend smiled blandly, and assured me of his willingness to 
instruct me. Happily for the world, since the days of Huss 
and Luther, neither tyranny nor taste can repress the Teutonic 
intellect in search of truth or exposure of error. A kindly,, 
worthy people, the Germans, but wearing on occasions. 

The party separated, Canby for Mobile, I for Meridian, 
where within two days came news of Johnston's surrender in, 
North Carolina, the capture of President Davis in Georgia,, 
and notice from Canby that the truce must terminate, as his 
Government disavowed the Johnston-Sherman convention* I 
informed General Canby that I desired to meet him for the 
purpose of negotiating a surrender of my forces, and that Com- 
modore Earrand would accompany me to meet Admiral Thatcher. 
15 



226 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION 

The military and civil authorities of the Confederacy had fallen, 
and I was called to administer on the ruins as residuary legatee. 
It seemed absurd for the few there present to continue the 
struggle against a million of men. "We could only secure hon- 
orable interment for the remains of our cause — a cause that for 
four years had fixed the attention of the world, been baptized 
in the blood of thousands, and whose loss would be mourned in 
bitter tears by countless widows and orphans throughout their 
lives. At the time, no doubts as to the propriety of my course 
entered my mind, but such have since crept in. Many Southern 
warriors, from the hustings and in print, have declared that they 
were anxious to die in the last ditch, and by implication were 
restrained from so doing by the readiness of their generals to 
surrender. One is not permitted to question the sincerity of 
these declarations, which have received the approval of public 
opinion by the elevation of the heroes uttering them to such 
offices as the people of the South have to bestow ; and popular 
opinion in our land is a court from whose decisions there is no 
appeal on this side of the grave. 

On the 8th of May, 1865, at Citronelle, forty miles north of 
Mobile, I delivered the epilogue of the great drama in which I 
had played a humble part. The terms of surrender demanded 
and granted were consistent with the honor of our arms ; and it 
is due to the memory of General Canby to add that he was 
ready with suggestions to soothe our military pride. Officers 
retained their side arms, mounted men their horses, which in 
our service were private property ; and public stores, ordnance, 
commissary, and quartermaster, were to be turned over to officers 
of the proper departments and receipted for. Paroles of the 
men were to be signed by their officers on rolls made out for 
the purpose, and I was to retain control of railways and river 
steamers to transport the troops as nearly as possible to their 
homes and feed them on the road, in order to spare the destitute 
people of the country the burden of their maintenance. Rail- 
ways and steamers, though used by the Confederate authorities, 
were private property, and had been taken by force which the 
owners could not resist ; and it was agreed that they should not 



CLOSING OPERATIONS OF THE WAR. 227" 

be seized by civil jackals following the army without special 
orders from Washington. Finally, I was to notify Canby when 
to send his officers to my camp to receive paroles and stores. 

Near the Tombigby Biver, to the east of Meridian, were 
many thousands of bales of cotton, belonging to the Confederate 
Government and in charge of a treasury agent. It seemed to 
me a duty to protect public property and transfer it to the 
United States, successors by victory to the extinct Confederacy. 
Accordingly, a guard had been placed over this cotton, though 
I hated the very name of the article, as the source of much cor- 
ruption to our people. Canby remarked that cotton had been 
a curse to his side as well, and he would send to New Orleans 
for a United States Treasury agent, so that we might rid our- 
selves of this at the earliest moment. The conditions of sur- 
render written out and signed, we had some conversation about 
the state of the country, disposition of the people, etc. I told 
him that all were weary of strife, and he would meet no opposi- 
tion in any quarter, and pointed out places in the interior where 
supplies could be had, recommending him to station troops at 
such places. I was persuaded that moderation by his officers 
and men would lead to intercourse, traffic, and good feeling 
with the people. He thanked me for the suggestions, and 
adopted them. 

The Governors of Mississippi and Alabama, Clarke and "Watts, 
had asked for advice in the emergency produced by surrender, 
which they had been informed was impending, and I thought 
their best course would be to summon their State Legislatures. 
These would certainly provide for conventions of the people to 
repeal ordinances of secession and abolish slavery, thus smooth- 
ing the way for the restoration of their States to the Union. 
Such action would be in harmony with the theory and practice 
of the American system, and clear the road of difficulties. The 
North, by its Government, press, and people, had been declaring 
for years that the war was for the preservation of the Union 
and for nothing else, and Canby and I, in the innocence of our 
hearts, believed it. As Canby thought well of my plan, I 
communicated with the Governors, who acted on it ; but the 



228 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

"Washington authorities imprisoned them for abetting a new 
rebellion. 

Returned to Meridian, I was soon ready for the Federal 
officers, who came quietly to our camp and entered on their 
appointed work; and I have now in my possession receipts given 
by them for public stores. Meanwhile, I received from Canby 
a letter informing me that he had directed two of his corps 
commanders, Generals Steele and Granger, to apply to me for 
# instructions concerning the movement of their troops, as to time, 
places, and numbers. It was queer for one to be placed in 
quasi command of soldiers that he had been fighting for four 
years, and to whom he had surrendered ; but I delicately made 
some suggestions to these officers, which were adopted. 

"With two or three staff officers, I remained at Meridian 
until the last man had departed, and then went to Mobile. 
General Canby most considerately took me, Tom, and my two 
horses on his boat to New Orleans ; else I must have begged 
my way: The Confederate paper (not currency, for it was 
without exchangeable value) in my pocket would not have 
served for traveling expenses ; and my battered old sword 
could hardly be relied on for breakfasts, dinners, and horse 
feed. 

After an absence of four years, I saw my native place and 
home, New Orleans. My estate had been confiscated and sold, 
and I was without a penny. The man of TJz admitted that 
naked he came into the world, and naked must leave it ; but 
to find himself naked in the midst of it tried even his patience. 
My first care was to sell my horses, and a purchaser was found 
who agreed to take and pay for them the following morning. 
I felt somewhat eager to get hold of the " greenbacks," and suf- 
fered for my avarice. The best horse, one that had carried me 
many a weary mile and day without failing, could not move a 
hoof when the purchaser came to take him. Like other vet- 
erans, long unaccustomed to abundance of prog, he had overfed 
and was badly foundered. Fortunately, the liveryman proposed 
to take this animal as a consideration for the keep of the two, 
and the price received for the other would suffice to bring my 



CLOSING OPERATIONS OF THE WAR. 229 

wife and children from the Eed River to New Orleans, and was 
sent to them for that purpose. 

Awaiting the arrival of my family, I had a few days of rest 
at the house of an old friend, when Generals Price, Buckner, 
and Brent came from Shreveport, the headquarters of the 
" Trans-Mississippi Department," under flag of truce, and sent 
for me. They reported a deplorable condition of affairs in that 
region. Many of the troops had taken up the idea that it was 
designed to inveigle them into Mexico, and were greatly in- 
censed. Some generals of the highest rank had found it con- 
venient to fold their tents and quietly leave for the Bio Grande ; 
others, who remained, were obliged to keep their horses in their 
quarters and guard them in person ; and numbers of men had 
disbanded and gone off. By a meeting of officers, the gentlemen 
present were deputed to make a surrender and ask for Federal 
troops to restore order. The officers in question requested me 
to he present at their interview with General Canby, who also 
invited me, and I witnessed the conclusion. So, from the 
Charleston Convention to this point, I shared the fortunes of the 
Confederacy, and can say, as Grattan did of Irish freedom, that 
I " sat by its cradle and followed its hearse." 

For some weeks after my return to New Orleans, I had 
various occasions to see General Canby on matters connected 
with the surrender, and recall no instance in which he did not 
conform to my wishes. Narrow perhaps in his view, and harsh 
in discharge of duty, he was just, upright, and honorable, and 
it was with regret that I learned of his murder by a band of 
Modoc savages. 



CHAPTEE XIY. 

CRITICISMS AND EEFLECTTONS. 

The military collapse of the South was sudden and unex- 
pected to the world without, but by no means so to some within. 
I happen to know that one or two of our ablest and most trusted 
generals concurred with me in opinion that the failure at Get- 
tysburg and the fall of Yicksburg in July, 1863, should have 
taught the Confederate Government and people the necessity of 
estimating the chances for defeat ; but soldiers in the field can 
not give utterance to such opinions unless expressly solicited by 
the civil head of their government, and even then are liable to 
misconstruction. 

Of many of the important battles of the civil war I have 
written, and desire to dwell somewhat on Shiloh, but will first 
say a few words about Gettysburg, because of recent publica- 
tions thereanent. 

Some facts concerning this battle are established beyond dis- 
pute. In the first day's fighting a part of Lee's army defeated 
a part of Meade's. Intending to continue the contest on that 
field, a commander not smitten by idiocy would desire to con- 
centrate and push the advantage gained by previous success and 
its resultant morale. But, instead of attacking at dawn, Lee's 
attack was postponed until afternoon of the following day, in 
consequence of the absence of Longstreet's corps. Federal 
official reports show that some of Meade's corps reached him on 
the second day, several hours after sunrise, and one or two late 
in the afternoon. It is positively asserted by many officers pres- 
ent, and of high rank and character, that Longstreet was nearer 
to Lee on the first day than Meade's reenforcing corps to their 



CRITICISMS AND REFLECTIONS. 231 

chief, and even nearer than a division of Ewell's corps, which 
reached the field in time to share in the first day's success. 
Now, it nowhere appears in Lee's report of Gettysburg that he 
ordered Longstreet to him or blamed him for tardiness ; but his 
report admits errors, and quietly takes the responsibility for 
them on his own broad shoulders. A recent article in the pub- 
lic press, signed by General Longstreet, ascribes the failure at 
Gettysburg to Lee's mistakes, which he (Longstreet) in vain 
pointed out and remonstrated against. That any subject in- 
volving the possession and exercise of intellect should be clear 
to Longstreet and concealed from Lee, is a startling proposition 
to those having knowledge of the two men. "We have Biblical 
authority for the story that the angel in the path was visible to 
the ass, though unseen by the seer his master ; but suppose, in- 
stead of smiting the honest, stupid animal, Balaam had caressed 
him and then been kicked by him, how would the story read ? 
And thus much concerning Gettysburg. 

Shiloh was a great misfortune. At the moment of his fall 
Sidney Johnston, with all the energy of his nature, was press- 
ing on the routed foe. Crouching under the bank of the Ten- 
nessee River, Grant was helpless. One short hour more of life 
to Johnston would have completed his destruction. The second 
in command, Beauregard, was on another and distant part of 
the field, and before he could gather the reins of direction dark- 
ness fell and stopped pursuit. During the night Buell reached 
the northern bank of the river and crossed his troops. "Wallace, 
with a fresh division, got up from below. Together, they ad- 
vanced in the morning, found the Confederates rioting in the 
plunder of captured camps, and drove them back with loss. 
But all this was as nothing compared to the calamity of John- 
ston's death. 

Educated at "West Point, Johnston remained for eight years 
in the army of the United States, and acquired a thorough 
knowledge of the details of military duty. Resigning to aid 
the cause of the infant Republic of Texas, he became her Adju- 
tant-General, Senior Brigadier, and Secretary of "War. During 
our contest with Mexico, he raised a regiment of Texans to join 



232 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

General Zachary Taylor, and was greatly distinguished in the 
fighting around and capture of Monterey. General Taylor, with 
whom the early years of his service had "been passed, declared 
him to be the best soldier he had ever commanded. More than 
once I have heard General Zachary Taylor express this opinion. 
Two cavalry regiments were added to the United States army 
in 1854, and to the colonelcy of one of these Johnston was ap- 
pointed. Subsequently, a brigadier by brevet, he commanded 
the expedition against the Mormons in Utah. 

Thus he brought to the Southern cause a civil and military 
experience surpassing that of any other leader.. Born in Ken- 
tucky, descended from an honorable colonial race, connected by 
marriage with influential families in the West, where his life 
had been passed, he was peculiarly fitted to command western 
armies. With him at the helm, there would have been no 
Yicksburg, no Missionary Ridge, no Atlanta. His character 
was lofty and pure, his presence and demeanor dignified and 
courteous, with the simplicity of a child; and he at once in- 
spired the respect and gained the confidence of cultivated gen- 
tlemen and rugged frontiersmen. 

Besides, he had passed through the furnace of ignorant 
newspapers, hotter than that of the Babylonian tyrant. Com- 
manding some raw, unequipped forces at Bowling Green, Ken- 
tucky, the habitual American exaggeration represented him as 
at the head of a vast army prepared and eager for conquest. 
Before time was given him to organize and train his men, the 
absurdly constructed works on his left flank were captured. At 
Fort Donelson on the Cumberland were certain political gen- 
erals, who, with a self-abnegation worthy of Plutarch's heroes, 
were anxious to get away and leave the glory and renown of 
defense to others. Johnston was in no sense responsible for 
the construction of the forts, nor the assignment to their com- 
mand of these self-denying warriors ; but his line of communi- 
cation was uncovered by their fall, and he was compelled to re- 
tire to the southern bank of the Tennessee Eiver. From the 
enlighteners of public opinion a howl of wrath came forth, and 
Johnston, who had just been Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, Na- 



CRITICISMS A3$T> REFLECTIONS. 233 

poleon, was now a miserable dastard and traitor, unfit to com- 
mand a corporal's guard. President Davis sought to console 
him, and some of the noblest lines ever penned by man were 
written by Johnston in reply. They even wrung tears of re- 
pentance from the pachyderms who had attacked him, and will 
be a text and consolation to future commanders, who serve a 
country tolerant of an ignorant and licentious press. Like pure 
gold, he came forth from the furnace above the reach of slan- 
der, the foremost man of all the South ; and -had it been possi- 
ble for one heart, one mind, and one arm to save her cause, she 
lost them when Albert Sidney Johnston fell on the field of 
Shiloh. 

As soon after the war as she was permitted, the Common- 
wealth of Texas removed his remains from New Orleans, to 
inter them in a land he had long and faithfully served. I was 
honored by a request to accompany the coffin from the ceme- 
tery to the steamer; and as I gazed upon it there arose the 
feeling of the Theban who, after the downfall of the glory and 
independence of his country, stood by the tomb of Epaminondas. 

"Amid the clash of arms laws are silent," and so was Con- 
federate statesmanship ; or at least, of its objects, efforts, and 
expectations little is known, save the abortive mission of Messrs. 
Stevens, Hunter, and Campbell to Fortress Monroe in the last 
months of the struggle, and about this there has recently been 
an unseemly wrangle. 

The followers of the Calhoun school, who controlled the 
Government, held the right of secession to be too clear for dis- 
cussion. The adverse argument of Mr. "Webster, approved by 
a large majority of the Northern people, was considered to be 
founded on lust of power, not on reason. The governments of 
western Europe, with judgments unclouded by selfishness, 
would at once acknowledge it. France, whose policy since the 
days of the eleventh Louis had been one of intense centraliza- 
tion, and Germany and Italy, whose hopes and aspirations were 
in the same direction, would admit it, while England would rot 
be restrained by anti-slavery sentiment. Indeed, the statesmen 
of these countries had devoted much time to the study of the 



234 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

Constitution of the United States, knew that it was a compact, 
and were in complete harmony with the opinions of Mr. Cal- 
houn. There was to be no revolution, for this, though justified 
by oppression, involved the recognition of some measure of ob- 
ligation to the Union, from which the right to secede was mani- 
fest. Hence the haste to manufacture a paper constitution, in 
which the powers of different departments were as carefully 
weighed as are dangerous drugs by dispensing chemists. Hence 
two houses of Congress, refuge for mischievous twaddlers to 
worry the executive and embarrass the armies. Hence the Gov- 
ernor Browns, who, reasoning that one State had as much right 
to disagree with eleven as eleven with twenty, declared each of 
their hamlets of more importance than the cities of others. 
"While the sections were marching through the streets, with 
pikes crowned by gory heads, and clamoring for more, Sieyes 
had his pockets stuffed with constitutions and felt that his coun- 
try was safe. It is not pretended that these ideas were enter- 
tained by the larger part of the Southern people, or were con- 
fessed by the ruling minority ; but they existed, nevertheless, 
under different forms. 

Aggrieved by the action and tendencies of the Federal Gov- 
ernment, and apprehending worse in the future, a majority of 
the people of the South approved secession as the only remedy 
suggested by their leaders. So travelers enter railway carriages, 
and are dragged up grades and through tunnels with utter loss 
of volition, the motive power, generated by fierce heat, being 
far in advance and beyond their control. 

"We set up a monarch, too, King Cotton, and hedged him 
with a divinity surpassing that of earthly potentates. To doubt 
his royalty and power was a confession of ignorance or cowar- 
dice. This potent spirit, at the nod of our Prosperos, the cotton- 
planters, would arrest every loom and spindle in New England, 
destroy her wealth, and reduce her population to beggary. The 
power of Old England, the growth of eight hundred years, was 
to wither as the prophet's gourd unless she obeyed its behests. 
And a right " tricksy spirit " it proved indeed. There was a 
complete mental derangement on this subject. The Government 



CRITICISMS AND REFLECTIONS. 235 

undertook to own all cotton that could be exported. Four mil- 
lions of bales, belonging to many thousands of individuals, could 
be disposed of to better advantage by the Government than by 
the proprietors ; and this was enforced by our authorities, whose 
ancestors for generations had been resisting the intrusion of 
governments into private business. All cotton, as well as naval 
stores, that was in danger of falling into the enemy's possession, 
was, by orders based on legislative enactment, to be burned ; 
and this policy continued to the end. It was fully believed 
that this destruction would appall our enemies and convince the 
world of our earnestness. Possibly there was a lurking idea 
that it was necessary to convince ourselves. 

In their long struggle for independence, the Dutch trafficked 
freely with the Spaniards, got rich by the trade, paid enormous 
taxes to support the war, and achieved their liberty. But the 
Dutch fought to rid themselves of a tyrant, while our first care 
was to set up one, Cotton, and worship it. Rules of common 
sense were not applicable to it. The Grand Monarque could 
not eat his dinners or take his emetics like ordinary mortals. 
Our people were much debauched by it. I write advisedly, for 
during the last two and a half years of the war I commanded in 
the State of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, the great pro- 
ducing States. Out-post officers would violate the law, and 
trade. In vain were they removed; the temptation was too 
strong, and their successors did the same. The influence on the 
women was dreadful, and in many cases their appeals were heart- 
rending, Mothers with suffering children, whose husbands were 
in the war or already fallen, would beseech me for permits to 
take cotton through the lines. It was useless to explain that it 
was against law and orders, and that I was without authority to 
act. This did not give food and clothing to their children, and 
they departed, believing me to be an unfeeling brute. In fact, 
the instincts of humanity revolted against this folly. 

It is with no pleasure that I have dwelt on the foregoing 
topics, but the world can not properly estimate the fortitude of 
the Southern people unless it understands and takes account of 
the difficulties under which they labored. Yet, great as were 



236 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

their sufferings during the war, they were as nothing compared 
to those inflicted upon them after its close. 

Extinction of slavery was expected by all and regretted by 
none, although loss of slaves destroyed the value of land. Ex- 
isting since the earliest colonization of the Southern States, the 
institution was interwoven with the thoughts, habits, and daily 
lives of both races, and both suffered by the sudden disruption 
of the accustomed tie. Bank stocks, bonds, all personal prop- 
erty, all accumulated wealth, had disappeared. Thousands of 
houses, farm-buildings, work-animals, flocks and herds, had been 
wantonly burned, killed, or carried off. The land was filled 
with widows and orphans crying for aid, which the universal 
destitution prevented them from receiving. Humanitarians 
shuddered with horror and wept with grief for the imaginary 
woes of Africans ; but their hearts were as adamant to people 
of their own race and blood. These had committed the un- 
pardonable sin, had wickedly rebelled against the Lord's an- 
ointed, the majority. Blockaded during the war, and without 
journals to guide opinion and correct error, we were unceasingly 
slandered by our enemies, who held possession of every avenue 
to the world's ear. 

Famine and pestilence have ever followed war, as if our 
Mother Earth resented the defilement of her fair bosom by blood, 
and generated fatal diseases to punish humanity for its crimes. 
But there fell upon the South a calamity surpassing any re- 
corded in the annals or traditions of man. An article in the 
" North American Review," from the pen of Judge Black, well 
describes this new curse, the carpet-baggers, as worse than Attila, 
scourge of God. He could only destroy existing fruits, while, 
by the modern invention of public credit, these caterans stole 
the labor of unborn generations. Divines, moralists, orators, 
and poets throughout the North commended their thefts and 
bade them God-speed in spoiling the Egyptians ; and the reign 
of these harpies is not yet over. Driven from the outworks, 
they hold the citadel. The epithet of August, first applied to 
the mighty Julius and to his successor Octavius, was continued, 
by force of habit, to the slobbering Claudius ; and so of the Sen- 



CRITICISMS AND REFLECTIONS. 237 

ate of the United States, which august body contained in March 
last several of these freebooters. Honest men regarded them 
as monsters, generated in the foul ooze of a past era, that had 
escaped destruction to linger in a wholesomer age ; and their 
speedy extinction was expected, when another, the most hideous 
of the species, was admitted. This specimen had been kept by 
force of bayonets for four years upon the necks of an unwilling 
people, had no title to a seat in the Senate, and was notoriously 
despised by every inhabitant of the State which he was seated 
to misrepresent. The Senators composing the majority by 
which this was done acted under solemn oaths to do the right ; 
but the Jove of party laughs at vows of politicians. Twelve 
years of triumph have not served to abate the hate of the vic- 
tors in the great war. The last presidential canvass was but a 
crusade of vengeance against the South. The favorite candidate 
of his party for the nomination, though in the prime of vigor, 
had not been in the field, to which his eloquent appeals sent 
thousands, but preferred the pleasanter occupation of making 
money at home. He had converted the power of his great 
place, that of Speaker of the House of Representatives, into 
lucre, and was exposed. By mingled chicanery and audacity he 
obtained possession of his own criminating letters, flourished 
them in the face of the House, and, in the Cambyses vein, called 
on his people to rally and save the luster of his loyalty from soil 
at the hands of rebels ; and they came. From all the North 
ready acclaims went up, and women shed tears of joy, such as 
in King Arthur's day rewarded some peerless deed of Galahad. 
In truth, it was a manly thing to hide dishonorable plunder be- 
neath the prostrate body of the South. The Emperor Corn- 
modus, in full panoply, met in the arena disabled and unarmed 
gladiators. The servile Romans applauded his easy victories. 
Ancient Pistol covers with patches the ignoble scabs of a cor- 
rupt life. The vulgar herd believes them to be wounds re- 
ceived in the Gallic wars, as it once believed in the virtue and 
patriotism of Marat and Barrere. 

In the Sermon on the Mount, the Divine Moralist instructed 
his hearers to forgive those who had injured them; but He 



238 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION". 

knew too well the malice of the human heart to expect them to 
forgive those whom they had injured. The leaders of the radi- 
cal masses of the North have inflicted such countless and cruel 
wrongs on the Southern people as to forbid any hope of dis- 
position or ability to forgive their victims ; and the land will 
have no rest until the last of these persecutors has passed into 
oblivion. 

During all these years the conduct of the Southern people 
has been admirable. Submitting to the inevitable, they have 
shown fortitude and dignity, and rarely has one been found 
base enough to take wages of shame from the oppressor and 
maligner of his brethren. Accepting the harshest conditions 
and faithfully observing them, they have struggled in all honor- 
able ways, and for what ? For their slaves ? Regret for their 
loss has neither been felt nor expressed. But they have striven 
for that which brought our forefathers to Runnymede, the privi- 
lege of exercising some influence in their own government. 
Yet we fought for nothing but slavery, says the world, and the 
late Yice-President of the Confederacy, Mr. Alexander Ste- 
phens, reechoes the cry, declaring that it was the corner-stone 
of his Government. 



CHAPTEK XV. 

KECONSTKUCTTON UNDER -JOHNSON". 

The following considerations induced me to make a pilgrim- 
age to Washington, where, by accident of fortune, I had a larger 
acquaintance with influential politicians than other Southern 
commanders. When the Whig party dissolved, most of its North- 
ern members joined the Republicans, and now belonged to the 
reigning faction ; and I had consorted with many of them while 
my father was President and afterward. 

Mention has been made of the imprisonment of Governors 
Clarke and "Watts for adopting my advice, and it was but right 
for me to make an effort to have them released. Moreover, 
Jefferson Davis was a prisoner in irons, and it was known that 
his health was feeble. Lee, Johnston, and I, with our officers 
and men, were at large, protected by the terms of our surrenders 
— terms which General Grant had honorably prevented the civil 
authorities from violating. If Mr. Davis had sinned, we all 
were guilty, and I could not rest without making an attempt 
for his relief. 

At the time, it was understood that prisoners on parole should 
not change their residence without military permission, and leave 
to go to ISTew Tork was asked and obtained of General Canby. 
By steamer I reached that place in a week, and found that Gen- 
eral Dix had just been relieved by General Hooker, to whom I 
at once reported. He uttered a shout of welcome (we were old 
acquaintances), declared that he was more pleased to see me 
than to see a church (which was doubtless true), made hospitable 
suggestions of luncheon, champagne, etc., and gave me a per- 
mit to go to Washington, regretting that he could not keep me 



240 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

with him. . A warm-hearted fellow is "fighting Joe," who car- 
ried on war like a soldier. 

In Washington, at Willard's — a huge inn, filled from garret 
to cellar with a motley crowd — an acquaintance, whom I chanced 
to meet, informed me that a recent disturbance had induced the 
belief of the existence of a new plot for assassination, and an 
order had been published forbidding rebels to approach the 
capital without the permission of the War Secretary. Having 
been at sea for a week, I knew nothing of this, and Hooker had 
not mentioned it when he gave me the permit to come to Wash- 
ington. My informant apprehended my arrest, and kindly un- 
dertook to protect me. Through his intervention I received 
from the President, Andrew Johnson, permission to stay or go 
where I chose, with an invitation to visit him at a stated time. 

Presenting myself at the " White House," I was ushered in 
to the President — a saturnine man, who made no return to my 
bow, but, after looking at me, asked me to take a seat. Upon 
succeeding to power Mr. Johnson breathed fire and hemp against 
the South, proclaimed that he would make treason odious by 
hanging traitors, and ordered the arrest of General Lee and 
others, when he was estopped by the action of General Grant. 
He had now somewhat abated his wolfish desire for vengeance, 
and asked many questions about the condition of the South, 
temper of the people, etc. I explained the conduct of Gover- 
nors Clarke and Watts, how they were imprisoned for following 
my advice, submitted to and approved by General Canby, who 
would hardly have abetted a new rebellion ; and he made mem- 
oranda of their cases, as well as of those of many other prisoners, 
confined in different forts from Boston to Savannah, all of whom 
were released within a short period. Fearing to trespass on 
his time, I left with a request that he would permit me to call 
again, as I had a matter of much interest to lay before him, and 
was told the hours at which I would be received. 

Thence to the Secretary of State, Mr. Seward, who in for- 
mer Whig times, as Senator from New York, had been a warm 
supporter of my father's administration. He greeted me cor- 
dially, and asked me to dine. A loin of veal was the piece de 



RECONSTRUCTION UNDER JOHNSON. 241 

resistance of his dinner, and lie called attention to it as evidence 
that he had killed the fatted calf to welcome the returned prodi- 
gal. Though not entirely recovered from the injuries received 
in a fall from his carriage and the wounds inflicted by the knife 
of Payne, he was cheerful, and appeared to sympathize with the 
objects of my mission — at least, so far as I could gather his 
meaning under the cloud of words with which he was accus- 
tomed to cover the slightest thought. One or two other mem- 
bers of the Cabinet, to whom Mr. Seward presented me, were 
also favorably inclined. One, the War Secretary, I did not 
meet. A spy under Buchanan, a tyrant under Lincoln, and a 
traitor to Johnson, this man was as cruel and crafty as Domi- 
tian. I never saw him. In the end conscience, long dormant, 
came as Alecto, and he was not ; and the temple of Justice, on 
whose threshold he stood, escaped profanation. 

In a second interview, President Johnson heard the wish I 
had so much at heart, permission to visit Jefferson Davis. He 
pondered for some time, then replied that I must wait and call 
again. 

Meantime, an opportunity to look upon the amazing specta- 
cle presented by the dwellers at the capital was afforded. The 
things seen by the Pilgrims in a dream were at this Yanity 
Pair visible in the flesh : " all such merchandise sold as houses, 
lands, trades, places, honors, preferments, states, lusts, pleasures ; 
and delights of all sorts, as bawds, wives, husbands, children, 
masters, servants, lives, blood, bodies, souls, greenbacks, pearls, 
precious stones, and what not." The eye of the inspired tinker 
had pierced the darkness of two hundred years, and seen what 
was to come. The martial tread of hundreds of volunteer gen- 
erals, just disbanded, resounded in the streets. Gorged with 
loot, they spent it as lavishly as Morgan's buccaneers after the 
sack of Panama. Their women sat at meat or walked tha high- 
ways, resplendent in jewels, spoil of Southern matrons. The 
camp-followers of the army were here in high carnival, and in 
character and numbers rivaled the attendants of Xerxes. Oour^ 
tesans swarmed everywhere, about the inns, around the Capitol, 
in the antechambers of the " White House," and. were, brokers. 
16 



242 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

for the transaction of all business. Of a tolerant disposition 
and with a wide experience of earthly wickedness, I did not feel 
called upon to cry aloud against these enormities, remembering 
the fate of Faithful ; but I had some doubts concerning divine 
justice; for why were the "cities of the Plain" overthrown 
and this place suffered to exist ? 

The officers of the army on duty at "Washington were very 
civil to me, especially General Grant, whom I had known prior 
to and during the Mexican war, as a modest, amiable, but by no 
means promising lieutenant in a marching regiment. He came 
frequently to see me, was full of kindness, and anxious to pro- 
mote my wishes. His action in preventing violation of the 
terms of surrender, and a subsequent report that he made of 
the condition of the South — a report not at all pleasing to the 
radicals — endeared him to all Southern men. Indeed, he was in 
a position to play a role second only to that of Washington, who 
founded the republic ; for he had the power to restore it. His 
bearing and conduct at this time were admirable, modest and 
generous ; and I talked much with him of the noble and benefi- 
cent work before him. While his heart seemed to respond, he 
declared his ignorance of and distaste for politics and politicians, 
with which and whom he intended to have nothing to do, but 
confine himself to his duties of commander-in-chief of the army. 
Yet he expressed a desire for the speedy restoration of good 
feeling between the sections, and an intention to advance it in 
all proper ways. We shall see when and under what influences 
he adopted other views. 

The President put me off from day to day, receiving me to 
talk about Southern affairs, but declining to give an answer to 
my requests. I found that he always postponed action, and was 
of an obstinate, suspicious temper. Like a badger, one had to 
dig him out of his hole ; and he was ever in one except when on 
the hustings, addressing the crowd. Of humble birth, a tailor 
by trade, nature gave him a strong intellect, and he had learned 
to read after his marriage. He had acquired much knowledge 
of the principles of government, and made himself a fluent 
speaker, but could not rise above the level of the class in which 



RECONSTRUCTION UNDER JOHNSON. 243 

he was born and to which he always appealed. He well under- 
stood the few subjects laboriously studied, and affected to despise 
other knowledge, while suspicious that those possessing such 
would take advantage of him. Self-educated men, as they are 
called, deprived of the side light thrown on a particular subject 
by instruction in cognate matters, are narrow and dogmatic, and, 
with an uneasy consciousness of ignorance, soothe their own 
vanity by underrating the studies of others. To the vanity. of 
this class he added that of the demagogue (I use the term in its 
better sense), and called the wise policy left him by his prede- 
cessor " my policy." Compelled to fight his way up from ob- 
scurity, he had contracted a dislike of those more favored of 
fortune, whom he was in the habit of calling " the slave-aris- 
tocracy," and became incapable of giving his confidence to any 
one, even to those on whose assistance he relied in a contest, 
just now beginning, with the Congress. 

President Johnson never made a dollar by public office, ab- 
stained from quartering a horde of connections on the Treasury, 
refused to uphold rogues in high places, and had too just a con- 
ception of the dignity of a chief magistrate to accept presents. 
It may be said that these are humble qualities for a citizen to 
boast the possession of by a President of the United States. 
As well claim respect for a woman of one's family on the 
ground that she has preserved her virtue. Yet all whose eyes 
were not blinded by partisanship, whose manhood was not emas- 
culated by servility, would in these last years have welcomed 
the least of them as manna in the desert. 

The President, between whom and the Congressional leaders 
the seeds of discord were already sown, dallied with me from 
day to day, and at length said that it would spare him embar- 
rassment if I could induce Stevens, Davis, and others of the 
House, and Sumner of the Senate, to recommend the permission 
to visit Jefferson Davis ; and I ■ immediately addressed myself 
to this unpleasant task. 

Thaddeus Stevens received me with as much civility as he was 
capable of. Deformed in body and temper like Caliban, this 
was the Lord Hategood of the fair ; but he was frankness itself. 



244 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

He wanted no restoration of the Union under the Constitution, 
which he called a worthless bit of old parchment. The white 
people of the South ought never again to be trusted with power, 
for they would inevitably unite with the Northern "Copper- 
heads " and control the Government. The only sound policy 
was to confiscate the lands and divide them among the negroes, 
to whom, sooner or later, suffrage must be given. Touching 
the matter in hand, Johnson was a fool to have captured Davis, 
whom it would have been wiser to assist in escaping. Nothing 
would be done with him, as the executive had only pluck enough 
to hang two poor devils such as Wirtz and Mrs. Surratt. Had 
the leading traitors been promptly strung up, well ; but the time 
for that had passed. (Here, I thought, he looked lovingly at 
my neck, as Petit Andre was wont to do at those of his merry- 
go-rounds.) He concluded by saying that it was silly to refuse 
me permission to visit Jefferson Davis, but he would not say 
so publicly, as he had no desire to relieve Johnson of respon- 
sibility. 

There was no excuse for longer sporting with this radical 
Amaryllis either in shade or in sunshine ; so I sought Henry 
"Winter Davis. Like the fallen angel, Davis preferred to rule 
in hell rather than serve in heaven or on earth. With the head 
of Medusa and the eye of the Basilisk, he might have repre- 
sented Siva in a Hindoo temple, and was even more inaccessible 
to sentiment than Thaddeus Stevens. Others, too numerous 
and too insignificant to particularize, were seen. These were 
the cuttle-fish of the party, whose appointed duty it was to ob- 
scure popular vision by clouds of loyal declamation. As Sicilian 
banditti prepare for robberies and murders by pious offerings 
on shrines of favorite saints, these brought out the altar of the 
"nation," and devoted themselves afresh, whenever "Credits 
Mobiliers " and kindred enormities were afoot, and sharpened 
every question of administration, finance, law, taxation, on the 
grindstone of sectional hate. So sputtering tugs tow from her 
moorings the stately ship, to send her forth to winds and waves 
of ocean, caring naught for the cargo with which she is freighted, 
but, grimy in zeal to earn fees, return to seek another. 



RECONSTRUCTION UNDER JOHNSON. 245 

Hopeless of obtaining assistance from such statesmen, I vis- 
ited Mr. Charles Sumner, Senator from Massachusetts, who re- 
ceived me pleasantly. A rebel, a slave-driver, and, without the 
culture of Boston, ignorant, I was an admirable vessel into 
which he could pour the inexhaustible stream of his acquired 
eloquence. I was delighted to listen to beautiful passages from 
the classic as well as modern poets, dramatists, philosophers, 
and orators, and recalled the anecdote of the man sitting un- 
der a fluent divine, who could not refrain from muttering, 
" That is Jeremy Taylor ; that, South ; that, Barrow,'" etc. It 
was difficult to suppress the thought, while Mr. Sumner was 
talking, " That is Burke, or Howard, "Wilberforce, Brougham, 
Macaulay, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Exeter Hall," etc. ; but I 
failed to get down to the particular subject that interested me. 
The nearest approach to the practical was his disquisition on 
negro suffrage, which he thought should be accompanied by 
education. I ventured to suggest that negro education should 
precede suffrage, observing that some held the opinion that the 
capacity of the white race for government was limited, although 
accumulated and transmitted through many centuries. He 
replied that " the ignorance of the negro was due to the tyranny 
of the whites," which appeared in his view to dispose of the 
question of the former's incapacity. He seemed over-educated — 
had retained, not digested his learning ; and beautiful flowers 
of literature were attached to him by filaments of memory, as 
lovely orchids to sapless sticks. Hence he failed to understand the 
force of language, and became the victim of his own metaphors, 
mistaking them for facts. He had the irritable vanity and 
weak nerves of a woman, and was bold to rashness in specula- 
tion, destitute as he was of the ordinary masculine sense of 
responsibility. Yet I hold him to have been the purest and 
most sincere man of his party. A lover, nay, a devotee of lib- 
erty, he thoroughly understood that it could only be preserved 
by upholding the supremacy of civil law, and would not sanc- 
tion the garrison methods of President Grant. Without vin- 
dictiveness, he forgave his enemies as soon as they were over- 
thrown, and one of the last efforts of his life was to remove 



246 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

from the flag of a common country all records of victories that 
perpetuated the memory of civil strife. 

Foiled in this direction, I worried the President, as old 
Mustard would a stot, until he wrote the permission so long 
solicited. By steamer from Baltimore I went down Chesapeake 
Bay, and arrived at Fortress Monroe in the early morning. 
General Burton, the commander, whose civility was marked, 
and who bore himself like a gentleman and soldier, received me 
on the dock and took me to his quarters to breakfast, and to 
await the time to see Mr. Davis. 

It was with some emotion that I reached the casemate in 
which Mr. Davis was confined. There were two rooms, in the 
outer of which, near the entrance, stood a sentinel, and in the 
inner was Jefferson Davis. We met in silence, with grasp of 
hands. After an interval he said, " This is kind, but no more 
than I expected of you." Pallid, worn, gray, bent, feeble, suf- 
fering from inflammation of the eyes, he was a painful sight to 
a friend. He uttered no plaint, and made no allusion to the 
irons (which had been removed) ; said the light kept all night 
in his room hurt his eyes a little, and, added to the noise made 
every two hours by relieving the sentry, prevented much sleep ; 
but matters had changed for the better since the arrival of Gen- 
eral Burton, who was all kindness, and strained his orders to the 
Utmost in his behalf. I told him of my reception at "Washing- 
ton by the President, Mr. Seward, and others, of the attentions 
of Generals Grant and Humphreys, who promoted my wish to 
see him, and that with such aid I was confident of obtaining 
permission for his wife to stay with him. I could solicit favors 
for him, having declined any for myself. Indeed, the very 
accident of position, that enabled me to get access to the gov- 
erning authorities, made indecent even the supposition of my 
acceptance of anything personal while a single man remained 
under the ban for serving the Southern cause ; and therefore I 
had no fear of misconstruction. Hope of meeting his family 
cheered him much, and he asked questions about the condition 
and prospects of the South, which I answered as favorably as 
possible, passing over things that would have grieved him. In 



RECONSTRUCTION UNDER JOHNSON. 247 

some way lie had learned of attacks on his character and con- 
duct, made by some Southern curs, thinking to ingratiate them- 
selves with the ruling powers. I could not deny this, but re- 
marked that the curse of unexpected defeat and suffering was 
to develop the basest passions of the human heart. Had he 
escaped out of the country, it was possible he might have been 
made a scapegoat by the Southern people, and, great as were 
the sufferings that he had endured, they were as nothing to 
coward stabs from beloved hands. The attacks mentioned were 
few, and too contemptible for notice ; for now his calamities had 
served to endear him to all. I think that he derived consola- 
tion from this view. 

The day passed with much talk of a less disturbing charac- 
ter, and in the evening I returned to Baltimore and "Washing- 
ton. After some delay Mr. Davis's family was permitted to 
join him, and he speedily recovered strength. Later I made a 
journey or two to Richmond, Virginia, on business connected 
with his trial, then supposed to be impending. 

The slight service, if simple discharge of duty can be so 
called, I was enabled to render Mr. Davis, was repaid ten thou- 
sand fold. In the month of March, 1875, my devoted wife was 
released from suffering, long and patiently endured, originating 
in grief for the loss of her children and exposure during the 
war. Smitten by this calamity, to which all that had gone 
before seemed as blessings, I stood by her coffin, ere it was 
closed, to look for the last time upon features that death had 
respected and restored to their girlish beauty. Mr. Davis came 
to my side, and stooped reverently to touch the fair brow, when 
the tenderness of his heart overcame him and he burst into tears. 
His example completely unnerved me for the time, but was of 
service in the end. For many succeeding days he came to me, 
and was as gentle as a young mother with her suffering infant. 
Memory will ever recall Jefferson Davis as he stood with me by 
the coffin. 

Duty to imprisoned friends and associates discharged, I re- 
turned to New Orleans, and remained for some weeks, when an 
untoward event occurred, productive of grave consequences. 



24:8 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

The saints and martyrs who have attained worldly success have 
rarely declined to employ the temporal means of sinners. 
"While calling on Hercules, they put their own shoulders to the 
wheel, and, in the midst of prayer, keep their powder dry. 
To prepare for the reelection of President Lincoln in 1864, 
pretended State governments had been set up by the Federal 
military in several Southern States, where fragments of terri- 
tory were occupied. In the event of a close election in the 
North, the electoral votes in these manufactured States would 
be under the control of the executive authority, and serve to 
determine the result.- For some years the Southern States were 
used as thimble-riggers use peas : now they were under the cup 
of the Union, and now they were out. During his reign in 
New Orleans the Federal General Banks had prepared a Lou- 
isiana pea for the above purpose. 

At this time negro suffrage, as yet an unaccomplished pur- 
pose, was in the air, and the objective point of radical effort. 
To aid the movement, surviving accomplices of the Banks fraud 
were instigated to call a " State Contention " in Louisiana, though 
with no more authority so to do than they had to call the Brit- 
ish Parliament. The people of New Orleans regarded the en- 
terprise as those of London did the proposed meeting of tailors 
in Tooley street ; and just before this debating society was to 
assemble, the Federal commander, General Sheridan, selected 
especially to restrain the alleged turbulent population of the 
city, started on an excursion to Texas, proving that he attached 
no importance to the matter and anticipated no disturbance. 

Living in close retirement, I had forgotten all about the 
"Convention." Happening to go to the center of the town, 
from my residence in the upper suburb, the day on which it 
met, on descending from the carriage of the tramway I heard 
pistol shots and saw a crowd of roughs, Arabs, and negroes run- 
ning across Canal Street. I walked in the direction of the noise 
to inquire the cause of excitement, as there was nothing visible 
to justify it. The crowd seemed largely composed of boys of 
from twelve to fifteen, and negroes. I met no acquaintance, 
and could obtain no information, when a negro came flying past, 



RECONSTRUCTION UNDER JOHNSON. 249 

pursued by a white boy, certainly not above fifteen years of age, 
with a pistol in hand. I stopped the boy without difficulty, and 
made him tell what he was up to. He said the niggers were 
having a meeting at Mechanics' Institute to take away his vote. 
"When asked how long he had enjoyed that inestimable right of 
a freeman, the boy gave it up, pocketed his "Derringer," and 
walked off. 

By this time the row appeared to be over, so I went on my 
way without seeing the building called Mechanics' Institute, as 
it was around the corner near which the boy was stopped. Speed- 
ily the town was filled with excitement, and Baird, the Federal 
commander in the absence of Sheridan, occupied the streets 
with troops and arrested the movements of citizens. Many poor 
negroes had been killed most wantonly, indignation ran high 
among decent people, and the perpetrators of the bloody deeds 
deserved and would have received swift, stern punishment had 
civil law been permitted to act. But this did not suit the pur- 
poses of the radicals, who rejoiced as Torquemada might have 
done when the discovery of a score of heretics furnished him 
an excuse to torment and destroy a province. Applying the 
theory of the detective police, that among the beneficiaries of 
crime must be sought the perpetrators, one would conclude that 
the radical leaders prompted the assassination of Lincoln and 
the murder of negroes ; for they alone derived profit from these 
acts. 

From this time forth the entire white race of the South de- 
voted itself to the killing of negroes. It appeared to be an in- 
herent tendency in a slave-driver to murder a negro. It was a 
law of his being, as of the monkey's to steal nuts, and could not 
be resisted. Thousands upon thousands were slain. Favorite 
generals kept lists in their pockets, proving time, place, and 
numbers, even to the smallest piccaninny. Nay, such was the 
ferocity of the slave-drivers, that unborn infants were ripped 
from their mothers' wombs. Probably these sable Macduffs 
were invented to avenge the wrongs of their race on tyrants 
protected by Satanic devices from injury at the hands of Africans 
of natural birth. Individual effort could not suffice the rage 



250 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION 

for slaughter, and the ancient order of " assassins " was revived, 
with an " Old Man " of the swamps at its head. Thus " Ku- 
KLux" originated, and covered the land with a network of 
crime. Earnest, credulous women in New England had their 
feelings lacerated by these stories, in which they as fondly be- 
lieved as their foremothers in Salem witches. 

As crocodiles conceal their prey until it becomes savory and 
tender and ripe for eating, so the Radicals kept these dark corpses 
to serve up to the public when important elections approached, 
or some especial villainy was to be enacted by the Congress. 
People who had never been south of the Potomac and Ohio 
Rivers knew all about this " Ku-Klux " ; but I failed, after many 
inquiries, to find a single man in the South who ever heard of 
it, saving in newspapers. Doubtless there were many acts of 
violence. When ignorant negroes, instigated by pestilent emis- 
saries, went beyond endurance, the whites killed them ; and this 
was to be expected. The breed to which these whites belong 
has for eight centuries been the master of the earth wherever 
it has planted its foot. A handful conquered and holds in sub- 
jection the crowded millions of India. Another and smaller 
bridles the fierce Cafire tribes of South Africa. Place but a 
score of them on the middle course of the Congo, and they will 
rule unless exterminated ; and all the armies and all the human- 
itarians can not change this, until the appointed time arrives for 
Ham to dominate Japhet. 

Two facts may here be stated. Just in proportion as the 
whites recovered control of their local governments, in that pro- 
portion negroes ceased to be killed ; and when it was necessary 
to Radical success to multiply negro votes, though no census was 
taken, formal statistics were published to prove large immigra- 
tion of negroes into the very districts of slaughter. Certainty 
of death could not restrain the colored lambs, impelled by an 
uncontrollable ardor to vote the radical ticket, from traveling to 
the wolves. Such devotion deserved the tenderest consideration 
of Christian men and women, and all means of protection and 
loving care were due to this innocent, credulous race. A great 
bureau, the Freedmen's, was established, and in connection with 



RECONSTRUCTION UNDER JOHNSON. 251 

it, at the seat of government, a bank. It was of importance to 
teach the freedmen, nnused to responsibility, industry and econ- 
omy ; and the bank was to encourage these virtues by affording 
a safe place of deposit for their small savings. To make assur- 
ance doubly sure, the " Christian soldier of the United States 
army " was especially selected to keep the money, and he did 
— so securely, in point of fact, that it is to be apprehended the 
unfortunate depositors will never see it more. After so brilliant 
an experience in banking, prudence might have suggested to 
this officer the wisdom of retiring from public view. Fortune 
is sometimes jealous of great reputations and fresh laurels. The 
success of his first speech prevented " Single-speech Hamilton " 
from rising again in the House of Commons ; Frederick failed 
to repeat Kossbach, and Napoleon, Austerlitz ; but the " Christian 
soldier " rushed on his fate, and met it at the hands of the Nez 
Perces. The profound strategy, the skillful tactics, the ready 
valor that had extinguished bank balances, all failed against this 
wily foe. 

While the excitement growing out of the untoward event 
mentioned was at its height, President Johnson summoned me 
to Washington, where 1 explained all the circumstances, as far 
as I knew them, of the recent murders, and urged him to send 
General Hancock to command in New Orleans. He was sent, 
and immediately restored order and confidence. A gentleman, 
one of the most distinguished and dashing officers of the United 
States army, General Hancock recognizes both the great duties 
of a soldier of the Eepublic — to defend its flag and obey its 
laws, discharging the last with a fidelity equal to his devotion 
to the first in front of battle. 

The contest between the Congress and the President now 
waxed fierce, and Thaddeus Stevens, from his place in the 
House, denounced " the man at the other end of the avenue." 
The President had gone back to wise, lawful methods, and 
desired to restore the Union under the Constitution ; and in 
this he was but following the policy declared in his last public 
utterance by President Lincoln. Mr. Johnson could establish 
this fact by members of his predecessor's Cabinet whom he had 



252 DESTEUCTION AND KECONSTKUCTION'. 

retained, and thus strengthen his position ; bnt his vanity for- 
bade him, so he called it " my policy," as if it were something 
new. 

At his instance, I had many interviews with him, and con- 
sulted influential men from different parts of the country. His 
Secretary of War was in close alliance with his enemies in the 
Congress, and constantly betraying him. This was susceptible 
of proof, and I so informed the President, and pointed out that, 
so far from assisting the people of the South, he was injuring 
them by inaction ; for the Congress persecuted them to worry 
him. He was President and powerful ; they were weak and 
helpless. In truth, President Johnson, slave to his own temper 
and appetites, was unfit to control others. 

General Grant yet appeared to agree with me about " recon- 
struction," as it was called ; and I was anxious to preserve good 
feeling on his part toward the President. In the light of sub- 
sequent events, it is curious to recall the fact that he complained 
of Stanton's retention in the Cabinet, because the latter's greed 
of power prevented the Commander-in-Chief of the army from 
controlling the most minute details without interference. I 
urged this on the President as an additional motive for dismiss- 
ing his War Secretary and replacing him by some one agreeable 
to General Grant ; but all in vain. This official " old man of 
the sea " kept his seat on the Presidential neck, never closing 
crafty eye nor traitorous mouth, and holding on with the tena- 
city of an octopus. 

Many moderate and whilom influential Eepublicans deter- 
mined to assemble in convention at Philadelphia, and invited 
delegates from all parts, North and South, to meet them. The 
object was to promote good feeling and an early restoration of 
the Union, and give aid to the President in his struggle with 
extremists. Averse to appearing before the public, I was re- 
luctant to go to this Convention ; but the President, who felt a 
deep interest in its success, insisted, and I went. It was largely 
attended, and by men who had founded and long led the Free- 
soil party. Ex-members of Lincoln's first Cabinet, Senators and 



RECONSTRUCTION UNDER JOHNSON. 253 

members of the Congress, editors of Republican newspapers 
(among whom was Henry J. Raymond, the ablest political edi- 
tor of the day and an eminent member of Congress as well), 
Southern men who had fought for the Confederacy, were there. 
Northern Republicans and Democrats, long estranged, buried 
the political hatchet and met for a common purpose, to restore 
the Union. Negro-worshipers from Massachusetts and slave- 
drivers from South Carolina entered the vast hall arm in arm. 
The great meeting rose to its feet, and walls and roof shook 
with applause. General John A. Dix of New York called the 
Convention to order, and, in an eloquent and felicitous speech, 
stated the objects of the assembly — to renew fraternal feeling 
between the sections, heal the wounds of war, obliterate bitter 
memories, and restore the Union of the fathers. Senator Doo- 
little of Wisconsin was chosen permanent president, and patri- 
otic resolutions were adopted by acclamation. All this was of 
as little avail as the waving of a lady's fan against a typhoon. 
Radical wrath uprose and swept these Northern men out of 
political existence, and they were again taught the lesson that 
is ever forgotten, namely, that it is an easy task to inflame the 
passions of the multitude, an impossible one to arrest them. 
From selfish ambition, from thoughtless zeal, from reckless par- 
tisanship, from the low motives governing demagogues in a 
countiy of universal suffrage, men are ever sowing the wind, 
thinking they can control the whirlwind ; and the story of the 
Gironde and the Mountain has been related in vain. 

The President was charmed with the Convention. Believ- 
ing the people — his god — to be with him, his crest rose, and he 
felt every inch a President. Again I urged him to dismiss his 
"War Secretary and replace Mr. Seward, Secretary of State, now 
in disfavor with his own creation, the Radical party, by General 
Dix, who was rewarded for his services at Philadelphia by the 
appointment of Naval Officer at New York. He was an excep- 
tion to the rule above mentioned. A more cautious pilot than 
Palinurus, this respectable person is the " Yicar of Bray " of 
American politics ; and like that eminent divine, his creeds sit 



254: DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

so lightly as to permit him to take office under all circumstances. 
Secretary of the Treasury in the closing weeks of President 
Buchanan, he aroused the North by sending his immortal dis- 
patch to the commander of a revenue cutter : " If any man 
attempts to haul down the American nag, shoot him on the 
spot." This bespoke the heart of the patriot, loving his coun- 
try's banner, and the arm of the hero, ready to defend it ; and, 
clad in this armor of proof, he has since been invulnerable. The 
President took kindly to the proposition concerning General 
Dix, and I flattered myself that it would come off, when sud- 
denly the General was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to 
France. I imagine that Mr. Seward had got wind of the pro- 
ject and hurried Dix out of the way. Thus, in a few days 
General Dix had the offer of the Netherlands, Naval Office, 
and France. " Glamis, and thane of Cawdor " ; and his old 
age is yet so green, mayhap " the greatest is behind." 

To air his eloquence and enlighten the minds of his dear 
people, the President made a tour through the North and West, 
in which his conduct and declarations were so extraordinary as 
to defeat any hopes of success for " my policy." 

A circumstance connected with the Philadelphia Convention 
made an impression on me at the time. Mr. Raymond was edi- 
tor of the " New York Times," the most powerful Republican 
journal in the North. Among many who had gained large 
wealth by speculations during the war was Mr. Leonard Jerome, 
a Republican in politics. This gentleman spent his fortune so 
lavishly that his acquaintances and the public shared its enjoy- 
ment. "With other property, Mr. Jerome owned the controlling 
interest in the " Times," then very valuable. Dining in New 
York with him and Mr. Raymond, the latter told me it was use- 
less to support the President, who was daily becoming more 
unpopular, and that the circulation and influence of his paper 
were rapidly diminishing in consequence of his adherence to 
" my policy." Whereupon Mr. Jerome replied : " I know but 
little about politics ; but if you think it right to stand by the 
President, I will pay all losses that the ' Times ' may suffer to 
the other proprietors." This was unselfish and patriotic ; and I 



RECONSTRUCTION UNDER JOHNSON. 255 

record it with the more pleasure, because Mr. Jerome has lost 
much of his wealth, and I fear, like many another Timon, some 
friends with it. 

After this period I saw little of President Johnson, who 
fought his fight in his own way, had his hands completely tied, 
and barely escaped impeachment; the Congress, meanwhile, 
making a whipping-post of the South, and inflicting upon it 
every humiliation that malignity could devise. 



CHAPTEE XVI. 

RECONSTRUCTION UNDER GRANT. 

Before the conventions to nominate candidates for the Pres- 
idency met in 1868, 1 had much intercourse with General Grant, 
and found him ever modest and determined to steer clear of 
politics, or at least not permit himself to be used by partisans ; 
and I have no doubt that he was sincere. But the Radical Satan 
took him up to the high places and promised him dominion over 
all in view. Perhaps none but a divine being can resist such 
temptation. He accepted the nomination from the Radicals, 
and was elected ; and though I received friendly messages from 
him, I did not see him until near the close of his first adminis- 
tration. As ignorant of civil government as of the characters 
on the Moabitish stone, President Grant begun badly, and went 
from bad to worse. The appointments to office that he made, 
the associates whom he gathered around him, were astounding. 
All his own relatives, all his wife's relatives, all the relatives of 
these relatives, to the remotest cousinhood, were quartered on the 
public treasury. Never, since King Jamie crossed the Tweed 
with the hungry Scotch nation at his heels, has the like been 
seen ; and the soul of old Newcastle, greatest of English nepo- 
tists, must have turned green with envy. The influence of this 
on the public was most disastrous. Already shortened by the 
war, the standard of morality, honesty, and right was buried out 
of sight. 

For two or three years I was much in the North, and espe- 
cially in New York, where I had dear friends. The war had 
afforded opportunity and stimulated appetite for reckless specu- 
lation. Yast fortunes had been acquired by new men, destitute 



RECONSTRUCTION UNDER GRANT. 257 

of manners, taste, or principles. The vulgar insolence of wealth 
held complete possession of public places and carried by storm 
the citadels of society. Indeed, society disappeared. As in the 
middle ages, to escape pollution, honorable men and refined 
women (and there are many such in the North) fled to sanctuary 
and desert, or, like early Christians in the catacombs, met secret- 
ly and in fear. The masses sank into a condition that would 
disgrace Australian natives, and lost all power of discrimination. 

The Yice-President of the United States accepted bribes, 
and perjured himself in vain to escape exposure. President 
Grant wrote him a letter to assure him of his continued esteem 
and confidence, and this Yice-President has since lectured before 
" Young Men's Christian Associations." Plunderings by mem- 
bers of the Congress excited no attention so long as they were 
confined to individuals or corporations. It was only when they 
voted themselves money out of taxes paid by the people, that 
these last growled and frightened some of the statesmen into 
returning it. A banker, the pet of the Government, holding 
the same especial relation to it that the Bank of England held 
to William of Orange, discovered that " a great national debt 
was a blessing," and was commended and rewarded therefor.. 
With a palace on the shores of the Delaware, this banker ownedi 
a summer retreat on a lovely isle amid the waters of Lake Erie., 
A pious man, he filled this with many divines, who blessed all; 
his enterprises. He contributed largely, too, to the support of 
an influential Christian journal to aid in disseminating truth to> 
Jew, Gentile, and heathen. The divines and the Christian journal 
were employed to persuade widows and weak men to purchase- 
his rotten securities, as things too righteous to occasion loss.. 

The most eloquent preacher in the land, of a race devoted, 
to adoration of negroes, as Hannibal to hatred of Eome, com- 
promised the wife of a member of his congregation. Discov- 
ered by the husband, he groveled before him in humiliation as 
before "his God" (his own expression). Brought before the 
public, he swore that he was innocent, and denied the meaning 
of his own written words. The scandal endured for months 
and gave an opportunity to the metropolitan journals to display 
17 



258 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

tlieir enterprise by furnishing daily and minute reports of all 
details to tlieir readers. The influence of the preacher was in- 
creased by this. His congregation flocked to him as the Ana- 
baptists to John of Leyden, and shopkeepers profitably adver- 
tised their wares by doubling their subscriptions to augment his 
salary. Far from concealing this wound inflicted on his domes- 
tic honor, the injured husband proclaimed it from the housetops, 
clothed himself in it as in a robe of price, and has successfully 
used it to become a popular lecturer. 

To represent the country at the capital of an ancient mon- 
archy, a man was selected whom, it is no abuse of language to 
declare, Titus Oates after his release from the pillory would 
have blushed to recognize. On the eve of his departure, as one 
may learn from the newspapers of the day, all that was richest 
and best in New York gathered around a banquet in his honor, 
congratulated the country to which he was accredited, and 
lamented the misfortune of their own that it would be deprived, 
even temporarily, of such virtue. Another was sent to an em- 
pire which is assured by our oft-succeeding envoys that it is the 
object of our particular affection. To the aristocracy of the 
realm this genial person taught the favorite game of the mighty 
"West. A man of broad views, feeling that diplomatic atten- 
tions were due to commons as well as to crown and nobles, he 
occasionally withdrew himself from the social pleasures of the 
" West End " to inform the stags of Capel Court of the value of 
American mines. Benefactors are ever misjudged. Aristocracy 
and the many-antlered have since united to defame him ; but 
Galileo in the dungeon, Pascal by his solitary lamp, More, 
Sidney, and Russell on the scaffold, will console him ; and in 
the broad bosom of his native Ohio he has found the exception 
to the rule that prophets are not without honor but in their own 
country. 

The years of Methuselah and the pen of Juvenal would not 
suffice to exhaust the list, or depict the benighted state into 
which we had fallen ; but it can be asserted of the popular idols 
of the day that unveiled, they resemble Mokanna, and can each 
exclaim : 



RECONSTRUCTION UNDER GRANT. 259 

" Here, judge if hell, with all its power to damn, 
Can add one curse to the foul thing I am ! " 

The examples of thousands of pure and upright people in 
the North were as powerless to mitigate the general corruption 
as song of seraphim to purify the orgies of harlots and bur- 
glars ; for they were not in harmony with the brutal passions of 
the masses. 

In Boston, July, 1872, as co-trustees of the fund left by the 
late Mr. Peabody for the education of the poor in the Southern 
States, President Grant and I met for the first time since he 
had accepted the nomination from the Radical party. He was 
a candidate for reelection, and much worshiped ; and, though 
cordial with me, his general manner had something of " I am 
the State." Stopping at the same inn, he passed an evening in 
my room, to which he came alone ; and there, avoiding public 
affairs, we smoked and chatted about the Nueces, Rio Grande, 
Palo Alto, etc. — things twenty-five years agone, when we were 
youngsters beginning life. He was reelected in November by 
a large majority of electoral votes ; but the people of Louisiana 
elected a Democratic Governor and Assembly. When, in Janu- 
ary following, the time of meeting of the Assembly arrived, the 
country, habituated as it was to violent methods, was startled 
by the succeeding occurrences. 

The night before the Assembly was to meet, the Federal 
Judge in the city of New Orleans, a drunken reprobate, ob- 
tained from the commander of the United States troops a por- 
tion of his force, and stationed it in the State House. In the 
morning the members elect were refused admittance, and others 
not elected, many not even candidates during the election, were 
allowed to enter. One Packard, Marshal of the Federal Court, 
a bitter partisan and worthy adjunct of such a judge, had pro- 
vided for an Assembly to suit himself by giving tickets to his 
friends, whom the soldiers passed in, excluding the elected 
members. The ring-streaked, spotted, and speckled among the 
cattle and goats, and the brown among the sheep, were turned 
into the supplanters' folds, which were filled with lowing herds 



260 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

and bleating flocks, while Laban bad neither horn nor hoof. 
There was not a solitary return produced in favor of this Packard 
body, nor of the Governor subsequently installed ; but the Radi- 
cals asserted that their friends would have been elected had the 
people voted as they wished, for every negro and some whites 
in the State upheld their party. By this time the charming 
credulity of the negroes had abated, and they answered the 
statement that slave-drivers were murdering their race in adja- 
cent regions by saying that slave-drivers, at least, did not tell 
them lies nor steal their money. 

All the whites and many of the blacks in Louisiana felt 
themselves cruelly wronged by the action of the Federal au- 
thorities. Two Assemblies were in session and two Governors 
claiming power in New Orleans. Excitement was intense, busi- 
ness arrested, and collision between the parties imminent. As 
the Packard faction was supported by Federal troops, the situa- 
tion looked grave, and a number of worthy people urged me 
to go to Washington, where my personal relations with the 
President might secure me access to him. It was by no means 
a desirable mission, but duty seemed to require me to under- 
take it. 

Accompanied by Thomas F. Bayard, Senator from Dela- 
ware, my first step in Washington was to call on the leader of 
the Radicals in the Senate, Morton of Indiana, when a long 
conversation ensued, from which I derived no encouragement. 
Senator Morton was the Couthon of his party, and this single 
interview prepared me for one of his dying utterances to 
warn the country against the insidious efforts of slave-driv- 
ing rebels to regain influence in the Government. The 
author of the natural history of Ireland would doubtless have 
welcomed one specimen, by describing which he could have 
filled out a chapter on snakes ; and there is temptation to dwell 
on the character of Senator Morton as one of the few Radical 
leaders who kept his hands clean of plunder. But it may be 
observed that one absorbing passion excludes all others from 
the human heart ; and the small portion of his being in which 
disease had left vitality was set on vengeance. Death has re- 



RECONSTRUCTION UNDER GRANT. 261 

cently clutched him, and would not be denied ; and he is be- 
wailed throughout the land as though he had possessed the 
knightly tenderness of Sir Philip Sidney and the lofty patriotism 
of Chatham. 

The President received me pleasantly, gave much time to 
the Louisiana difficulty, and, in order to afford himself oppor- 
tunity for full information, asked me frequently to dine with 
his immediate family, composed of kindly, worthy people. I 
also received attention and hospitality from some members of 
his Cabinet, who with him seemed desirous to find a remedy for 
the wrong. More especially was this true of the Secretary of 
State, Hamilton Fish, with whom and whose refined family 1 
had an acquaintance. Of a distinguished Revolutionary race, 
possessor of a good estate, and with charming, cultivated sur- 
roundings, this gentleman seemed the Noah of the political 
world. Perhaps his retention in the Cabinet was due to a be- 
lief that, under the new and milder dispensation, the presence 
of one righteous man might avert the doom of Gomorrah. An 
exception existed in the person of the Attorney-General, a man, 
as eminent barristers declare, ignorant of law and self-willed 
and vulgar. For some reason he had much influence with the 
President, who later appointed him Chief Justice of the United 
States ; but the Senatorial gorge, indelicate as it had proved, 
rose at this, as the easy-shaving barber's did at the coal-heaver, 
and rejected him. 

Weeks elapsed, during which I felt hopeful from the ear- 
nestness manifested in my mission by the President and several 
of his Cabinet. Parties were in hostile array in ISTew Orleans, 
but my friends were restrained by daily reports of the situation 
at "Washington. Only my opinion that there was some ground 
for hope could be forwarded. Conversations at dinner tables 
or in private interviews with the Executive and his advisers 
could not, then or since, be repeated ; and this of necessity gave 
room for misconstruction, as will appear. At length, on the 
day before the Congress was by law to adjourn, the President 
sent a message to the Senate, informing that body that, in the 
event the Congress failed to take action on the Louisiana mat- 



262 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

ter, he should esteem it his duty to uphold the Government 
created by the Federal Judge. I left Washington at once, and 
did not revisit it for nearly four years. 

I believe that President Grant was sincere with me, and 
went as' far as he felt it safe. No doubt the Senatorial hyenas 
brought him to understand these unspoken words : " We have 
supported your acts, confirmed your appointments, protected 
and whitewashed your friends ; but there are bones which we 
can not give up without showing our teeth, and Louisiana is one 
of them." 

The failure to obtain relief for the State of my birth, and 
whose soil covered the remains of all most dear, was sad enough, 
and the attempt had involved much unpleasant work; but I 
had my reward. Downfall of hope, long sustained, was bitter 
to the people, especially to the leaders expectant of office ; and 
I became an object of distrust. "Nothing succeeds like suc- 
cess," and nothing fails like failure, and the world is quite right 
to denounce it. The British Ministry shot an admiral for fail- 
ing to relieve Minorca — to encourage others, as Voltaire re- 
marked. Byng died silent, without plaint, which was best. 
The drunken Federal Judge, author of the outrages, was uni- 
versally condemned, with one exception, of which more anon. 
Both branches of the Congress, controlled by Radicals, pro- 
nounced his conduct to have been illegal and unjust, and he 
was driven from the bench with articles of impeachment hang- 
ing over him. Nevertheless, the Government evolved from his 
unjudicial consciousness was upheld by President Grant with 
Federal bayonets. 

Two years later the people of Louisiana elected an Assembly, 
a majority of whose members were opposed to the fraudulent 
Governor, Kellogg. The President sent United States soldiers 
into the halls of the Assembly to expel members at the point 
of the bayonet. Lieutenant-General Sheridan, the military maid 
of all (such) work, came especially to superintend this business, 
and it was now that he expressed the desire to exterminate 
" banditti." The destruction of buildings and food in the Val- 
ley of Virginia, to the confusion of the crows, was his Sala- 



RECONSTRUCTION UNDER GRANT. 263 

manca ; but this was his Waterloo, and great was the fame of 
the Lieutenant-General of the Radicals. 

This Governor Kellogg is the Senator recently seated, of 
whom mention has been made, and, if a lesser quantity than 
zero be conceivable, with a worse title to the office than he had 
to that of Governor of Louisiana. So far as known, he is a 
commonplace rogue ; but his party has always rallied to his sup- 
port, as the " Tenth Legion " to its eagles. Indeed, it is diffi- 
cult to understand the qualities or objects that enlist the devo- 
tion and compel the worship of humanity. Travelers in the 
Orient tell of majestic fanes, whose mighty walls and countless 
columns are rich with elaborate carvings. Hall succeeds hall, 
each more beautifully wrought than the other, until the inner- 
most, the holy of holies, is reached, and there is found en- 
shrined — a shriveled ape. 

The sole exception referred to in the case of the drunken 
Federal Judge was a lawyer of small" repute, who had been 
Democratic in his political tendencies. Languishing in ob- 
scurity, he saw and seized his opportunity, and rushed into 
print in defense of the Judge and in commendation of the 
President for upholding such judicial action. It is of record 
that this lawyer, in the society of some men of letters, declared 
Dante to be the author of the Decameron ; but one may be 
ignorant of the Italian poets and thoroughly read in French 
memoirs. During the war of the Spanish succession, the Duke 
of Vendome, filthiest of generals, not excepting Suvaroff, com- 
manded the French army in Italy. To negotiate protection for 
their States, the Italian princes sent agents to Yendome ; but 
the agents sent by the Duke of Parma were so insulted by the 
bestialities of the French commander as to go back to their 
master without negotiating, and no decent man would consent 
to return. A starving little abbe volunteered for the service, 
and, possessing a special aptitude for baseness, succeeded in his 
mission. Thus Alberoni, afterward Cardinal and Prime Minis- 
ter of Spain, got his foot on the first rung of the ladder of fame. 
The details of the story are too gross to repeat, and the Memoirs 
of the Duke of St. Simon must be consulted for them ; but our 



264 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

lawyer assuredly had read them. Many may imitate Homer, 
however feebly ; one genius originated his epics. 

Having entered on this lofty career, our Alberoni stuck to 
it with the tenacity of a ferret in pursuit of rabbits, and was re- 
warded, though not at the time nor to the extent he had reason 
to expect. The mission to England was promised him by the 
reigning powers, when, on the very eve of securing his prize, a 
stick was put in the wheels of Ms progress, and by a brother's 
hand. Another legal personage, practicing at the same bar, 
that of New York, and a friend, did the deed. " Chloe was 
false, Chloe was common, but constant while possessed " ; but 
here Chloe was without the last quality. In 1868, General 
Grant's election pending, Chloe was affiliated with the Demo- 
cratic party, and had been chosen one of the captains of its cita- 
del, a sachem of Tammany. Scenting success for Grant, with 
the keenness of the vulture for his prey, he attended a Radical 
meeting and announced his intention to give twenty thousand 
dollars to the Radical election fund. This sum appears to have 
been the market value of a seat in the Cabinet, to which ulti- 
mately he was called. When the English mission became vacant 
by the resignation of the incumbent, disgusted by British in- 
gratitude, Chloe quitted the Cabinet to take it, and Alberoni 
was left wearing weeds. Yet much allowance is due to family 
affection, the foundation of social organization. Descended from 
a noble stock, though under a somewhat different name, Chloe 
from mystic sources learned that his English relatives pined for 
his society, and devotion to family ties tempted him to betray 
his friend. Subsequently Alberoni was appointed to a more 
northern country, where he may find congenial society ; for, in 
a despotism tempered only by assassination, the knees of all be- 
come pliant before power. 

It is pleasant to mark the early steps of nascent ambition. 
In the time of the great Napoleon every conscript carried the 
baton of a marshal in his knapsack ; and in our happy land every 
rogue may be said to have an appointment to office in his pocket. 
This is also pleasant. 

Since the spring of 1873, when he gave himself up to the 



RECONSTRUCTION UNDER GRANT. 265 

worst elements of Ms party, I have not seen President Grant ; 
but his career suggests some curious reflections to one who has 
known him for thirty-odd years. What the waiting-woman 
promised in jest, Dame Fortune has seriously bestowed on this 
Malvolio, and his political cross-garterings not only find favor 
with the Radical Olivia, but are admired by the Sir Tobys of 
the European world. Indeed, Fortune has conceits as quaint 
as those of Haroun al-Easchid. The beggar, from profound 
sleep, awoke in the Caliph's bed. Amazed and frightened by 
his surroundings, he slowly gained composure as courtier after 
courtier entered, bowing low, to proclaim him King of kings, 
Light of the World, Commander of the Faithful ; and he speedily 
came to believe that the present had always existed, while the 
real past was an idle dream. Of a nature kindly and modest, 
President Grant was assured by all about him that he was the 
delight of the Radicals, greatest captain of the age, and saviour 
of the nation's life. It was inevitable that he should begin by 
believing some of this, and end by believing it all. Though he 
had wasted but little time on books since leaving West Point, 
where in his day the curriculum was limited, he had found out 
to the last shilling the various sums voted by Parliament to the 
Duke of Wellington, and spoke of them in a manner indicating 
his opinion that he was another example of the ingratitude of 
republics. The gentle temper and sense of justice of Othello 
resisted the insidious wiles of Iago ; but ignorance and inex- 
perience yielded in the end to malignity and craft. President 
Grant was brought not only to smother the Desdemona of his 
early preferences and intentions, but to feel no remorse for the 
deed, and take to his bosom the harridan of radicalism. As 
Phalaris did those of Agrigentum opposed to his rule, he fin- 
ished by hating Southerners and Democrats. 

During the struggle for the Presidency in the autumn of 
1876, he permitted a member of his Cabinet, the Secretary of 
the Interior, to become the manager of the Radicals and use all 
the power of his office, established for the public service, to pro- 
mote the success of his party's candidate. 

Monsieur Fourtou, Minister of the Interior, removed pre- 



266 DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 

f ects and mayors to strengthen the power of De Broglie ; where- 
upon all the newspapers in our land published long essays to show 
and lament the ignorance of the French and their want of expe- 
rience in republican methods. One might suppose these articles 
to have been written by the " seven sleepers," so forgetful were 
they of yesterday's occurrences at home ; but beams near at hand 
are ever blinked in our search of distant motes. The election 
over, but the result in dispute, President Grant, in Philadelphia, 
alarmed thoughtful people by declaring that " no man could 
take the great office of President upon whose title thereto the 
faintest shadow of doubt rested," and then, with all the power 
of the Government, successfully led the search for this non- 
existing person. To insure fairness in the count, so that none 
could carp, he requested eminent statesmen to visit South Caro- 
lina, Florida, and Louisiana, the electoral votes of which were 
claimed by both parties ; but the statesmen were, without ex- 
ception, the bitterest and most unscrupulous partisans, personal- 
ly interested in securing victory for their candidate, and have 
since received their hire. Soldiers were quartered in the capi- 
tals of the three States to aid the equitable statesmen in reach- 
ing a correct result by applying the bayonet if the figures 
proved refractory. With equity and force at work, the coun- 
try might confidently expect justice ; and justice was done 
— that justice ever accorded by unscrupulous power to weak- 
ness. 

But one House of the Congress was controlled by the Dem- 
ocrats, and these, Herod-like, were seeking to slay the child, the 
Nation. To guard against this, President Grant ordered other 
troops to Washington and a ship of war to be anchored in the 
Potomac, and the child was preserved. Again, the 4th of 
March, appointed by law for the installation of Presidents, fell 
on Sunday. President Grant is of Scotch descent, and doubtless 
learned in the traditions of the land o' cakes. The example of 
Kirkpatrick at Dumfries taught him that it was wise to " mak 
sicker " ; so the incoming man and the Chief Justice were 
smuggled into the White House on the sabbath day, and the 
oath of office was administered. If the chair of George Wash- 



RECONSTRUCTION UNDER GRANT. 267 

ington was to be filched, it were best done under cover. The 
value of the loot inspired caution. 

In Paris, at a banquet, Maitre Gambetta recently toasted our 
ex-President " as the great commander who had sacredly obeyed 
and preserved his country's laws." "Whether this was said in 
irony or ignorance, had General Grant taken with him to Paris 
his late Secretary of the Interior, the accomplished Z. Chandler, 
the pair might have furnished suggestions to Marshal MacMahon 
and Fourtou that would have changed the dulcet strains of 
Maitre Gambetta into dismal howls. 



CHAPTER XYII. 

CONCLUSION. 

Dismissing hope of making my small voice heard in mitiga- 
tion of the woes of my State, in May, 1873, I went to Europe 
and remained many months. Returned to IsTew York, I found 
that the characters on the wall, so long invisible, had blazed 
forth, and the vast factitious wealth, like the gold of the dervish, 
withered and faded in a night. The scenes depicted of Paris 
and London, after the collapse of Mississippi schemes and South 
Sea bubbles, were here repeated on a greater scale and in more 
aggravated form. To most, the loss of wealth was loss of an- 
cestry, repute, respectability, decency, recognition of their fel- 
lows — all. Small wonder that their withers were fearfully 
wrung, and their wails piteous. Enterprise and prosperity were 
frozen as in a sea of everlasting ice, and guardians of trusts, like 
Ugolino, plunged their robber fangs into the scalps and entrails 
of the property confided to them. 

A public journal has recently published a detailed list, show- 
ing that there has been plundered by fiduciaries since 1873 the 
amazing amount of thirty millions of money ; and the work 
goes on. Scarce a newspaper is printed in whose columns may 
not be found some fresh instance of breach of trust. As poi- 
soning in the time of Brinvilliers, stealing is epidemic, and the 
watch-dogs of the flocks are transformed into wolves. 

Since the tocsin sounded we have gone from bad to worse. 
During the past summer (1877) laborers, striking for increased 
wages or to resist diminution thereof, seized and held for many 
days the railway lines between East and West, stopping all traf- 
fic. Aided by mobs, they took possession of great towns and 



CONCLUSION. 269 

destroyed vast property. At Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania, State 
troops attempting to restore order were attacked and driven off. 
Police and State authorities in most cases proved impotent, and 
the arm of Federal power was invoked to stay the evil. 

Thousands of the people are without employment, which 
they seek in vain ; and from our cities issue heart-rending ap- 
peals in behalf of the suffering poor. From the Atlantic as far 
to the west as the young State of Nebraska, there has fallen 
upon the land a calamity like that afflicting Germany after the 
Thirty Years' War. Hordes of idle, vicious tramps penetrate 
rural districts in all directions, rendering property and even life 
unsafe ; and no remedy for this new disease has been discovered. 
Let us remember that these things are occurring in a country of 
millions upon millions of acres of vacant lands, to be had almost 
for the asking, and where, even in the parts first colonized, den- 
sity of population bears but a small relation to that of western 
Europe. Yet we daily assure ourselves and the world that we 
have the best government under the canopy of heaven, and the 
happiest land, hope and refuge of humanity. 

Purified by fire and sword, the South has escaped many of 
these evils ; but her enemies have sown the seeds of a pestilence 
more deadly than that rising from Pontine marshes. Now 
that Federal bayonets have been turned from her bosom, this 
poison, the influence of three fourths of a million of negro 
voters, will speedily ascend and sap her vigor and intelligence. 
Greed of office, curse of democracies, will impel demagogues 
to grovel deeper and deeper in the mire in pursuit of ignorant 
votes. Her old breed of statesmen has largely passed away 
during and since the civil war, and the few survivors are natu- 
rally distrusted, as responsible for past errors. Numbers of her 
gentry fell in battle, and the men now on the stage were youths 
at the outbreak of strife, which arrested their education. This last 
is also measurably true of the North. Throughout the land the 
experience of the active portion of the present generation only 
comprises conditions of discord and violence. The story of the 
six centuries of sturdy effort by which our English forefathers 
wrought out their liberties is unknown, certainly unappreciated. 



?70 



DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. 



Even the struggles of our grandfathers are forgotten, and the 
names of Washington, Adams, Hamilton, Jay, Marshall, Madi- 
son, and Story awaken no fresher memories in our minds, no 
deeper emotions in our hearts, than do those of Solon, Leoni- 
das, and Pericles. But respect for the memories and deeds of 
our ancestors is security for the present, seed-corn for the 
future ; and, in the language of Burke, " Those will not look 
forward to their posterity who never look backward to their 
ancestors." 

Traditions are mighty influences in restraining peoples. The 
light that reaches us from above takes countless ages to traverse 
the awful chasm separating us from its parent star ; yet it comes 
straight and true to our eyes, because each tender wavelet is 
linked to the other, receiving and transmitting the luminous 
ray. Once break the continuity of the stream, and men will 
deny its heavenly origin, and seek its source in the feeble glim- 
mer of earthly corruption. 



ODEX. 



Acadian exiles in Attakapas, 105 ; their 

descendants, 106. 
Alabama delegates retire from Charleston 

Convention, 12. 
Alberoni, Abbe, 263. 
Andersonville Prison, 216. 
Antietam a drawn battle, 95. 
Antipathy to the South, 238. 
Anti-slavery agitation, 10. 
Army, Confederate, of Virginia moved to 

Gordonsville, 42. 
Ashby, General Turner, during march to 

Harrisonburg, 69 ; his death, 71 ; no 

disciplinarian, 72. 
Attakapas, home of the Acadians, 105. 

Bank of Tennessee, its treasure restored, 
224. 

Banks, General N. P., his ignorance and 
arrogance, 164; retreats to Alexandria, 
182 ; his army demoralized, 187 ; his 
misleading dispatches, 135, 137, 146, 
151, 174, 181. 

Baton Rouge, Confederates repulsed, 107. 

Bayou des Allemands surprised, 111. 

Beauregard, General P. G. T., his cool- 
ness and courage at Manassas, 19. 

Berwick's Bay captured by Confederates, 
141 ; the prisoners and spoil, 143. 

Bisland attacked by Federals, 130. 

Blunders of Confederates in first Rich- 
mond campaign, 86. 

Bourbeau Bayou, Confederate success 
there, 150. 

Boyd, Belle, Confederate spy, 51. 

Bragg, General B., occupies Pensacola, 
15 ; services in United States army, 
99 ; a strong disciplinarian, 100 ; in- 
vades Kentucky, ib. ; his petulance, ib. 

Brent, Major J. L., Taylor's chief of artil- 
lery, 117 ; his fertility of resource, 118. 

Brown, Joseph, Governor of Georgia, 212. 



Bugeaud's " Maxims," 39. 

Burton, General, commandant of Fortress 
Monroe, 246. 

Butler, General B. F., in the Charleston 
Convention, 11 ; puts a stop to maraud- 
ing, 112. 

Canby, General E. R. S., invests the Mo- 
bile forts, 221 ; the city occupied, 222. 

Carpet-baggers, 236. 

Cavalry, Confederate, its indiscipline, 60. 

Charleston Convention, 10. 

Civil War, causes of the, 9. 

Cobb, Howell, and the defenses of Macon, 
211 ; his death, 213. 

Cold Harbor, battle of, 84. 

Collapse of the Confederacy, 230. 

Confederate government at Montgomery, 
its vacillation, 15. 

Conventions called to repeal secession 
ordinances, 227 ; this action punished 
as rebellion, 228. 

Corruption, political and social, 257. 

Cotton, Confederate gunboat, 121. 

Courtesy to a wounded prisoner, 151. 

Creoles of Louisiana not an effete race, 
109. 

Cushing, Caleb, in the Charleston Con- 
vention, 11. 

Davis, Henry Winter, 244. 

Davis, Jefferson, his amiability, 24; a 
prisoner in Fortress Monroe, 246. 

Disease in the Confederate Army of Vir- 
ginia, 23. 

Diana, gunboat, captured by Confeder- 
ates, 128. 

" District of Louisiana," its military re- 
sources, 108. 

Dix, General John A., in the Philadel- 
phia Convention, 253 ; the " Vicar of 
Bray " of American politics, 253. 



272 



INDEX. 



Embezzlement and breach of trust, 268. 

Engineer service unfits for command, 98. 

Ewell, Lieutenant-General K. S., his ser- 
vices in the United States army, 37 ; 
his manner and personal appearance, 
ib. ; his absence of mind, 78. 

Farragut, Admiral D. G., opens the Mis- 
sissippi to Vicksburg, 125. 

Fessenden, General, his account of the 
Pleasant Hill battle, HI, 

Fish, Hamilton, 261. 

Forrest, General, by nature a great sol- 
dier, 199 ; secret of his success, 200 ; 
his kindly disposition, ib. 

Fort Butler unsuccessfully attacked, 144. 

Fort de Russy captured, 155. 

Frazier's Farm, 91. 

Freedmen's Bureau and Bank, 251. 

Fremont routed at Strasburg, 65 ; beaten 
at Cross Keys, 73. 

Front Royal captured by Taylor, 63. 

Fuller, Captain, improvises a gunboat, 
119 ; delays Federal advance up the 
Teche, 121. 

Fusilier, Leclerc, his gallantry and muni- 
ficence, 109. 

Gettysburg battle, 230. 

Gibson, General R. L., his defense of 
Spanish Fort, 221. 

Governments set up by the military in 
Southern States, 248. 

Grant, General, opposed to advance on 
Richmond by land, 33 ; testimony con- 
cerning this point, 34, note; begins 
operations against Vicksburg, 121 ; 
classed with Marshal Villars and the 
Duke of Cumberland, 149 ; his error 
at Vicksburg, 149 ; Ids modesty and 
generosity, 242 ; opposed to reconstruc- 
tion at first, 256 ; his part in the elec- 
tion of 1876, 266. 

Green, Major - General Thomas, killed, 
177. 

Gunboats, the terror they at first in- 
spired, 118. 

Hancock, Major-General W. S., restores 
order at New Orleans, 251. 

Hardee, Major-General, his modesty, 215. 

Hood, Lieutenant-General, his losses at 
Franklin, 216 ; superseded by Taylor, 
217 ; his army after defeat, ib. 

Horsemen strapped to their steeds, 55. 

Ignorance claims its victims, 93. 



Immigration, how it determined the events 

of 1860, 10. 
Indianola, ironclad, passes Vicksburg, 

123 ; sunk by the Confederates, 125. 
" Initiative " and " defensive," 20. 
Irishmen as soldiers, 76. 

Jackson, General T. J. (Stonewall), his 
appearance and manner, 49 ; his care 
for the ammunition trains, 56 ; routs 
Banks at Winchester, 59 ; his inner 
nature, 79 ; ranked with Nelson and 
Havelock, 80. 

Jerome, Leonard, and the New York 
" Times," 254. 

Johnson, Andrew, 240, 242. 

Johnston, General Albert Sidney, his ser- 
vices in the United States Army, 231 ; 
character, 232 ; his death an irrepar- 
able loss, 233. 

Johnston, General Joseph E.,his estrange- 
ment from Jefferson Davis, 26 ; moves 
his army to Orange Court House, 35 ; 
services in United States army, ib. ; a 
master of logistics, 43 ; his neglect of 
opportunity, ib. 

Kellogg, William Pitt, 263. 
Kentucky, invasion of, 101. 
" King Cotton " a tyrant, 235. 
Ku-klux assassinations, 250. 

Labor troubles in the North, 268. 

Lee, General R. E., his force at opening 
of first Richmond campaign, 86 ; his 
strategy commended, ib. ; place in 
Southern history, 96 ; his mistakes, 97 ; 
his tactics inferior to his strategy, ib. ; 
his surrender proclaimed to Taylor's 
army, 222. 

Lee, General A. L., his account of the 
battle of Pleasant Hill, 173. 

Louisiana secedes from the Union, 13 ; 
temper of the people, ib. 

Louisiana Brigade, 78 ; its losses at Cold 
Harbor, 85. 

Louisiana, the State government over- 
turned, 259-262. 

Louisiana, Western, its topography ai>d 
river systems, 103. 

Malvern Hill battle, 91. 

Manassas, first battle of, encourages the 

Confederates, 18; effect at the North,31. 
Mansfield, battle of, 162. 
Mechanical resources wanting to the 

South, 202. 



INDEX. 



2Y3 



Missouri compromise, 9. 

Mobile, its defenses, 201 ; occupied by 
General Canby, 222. 

Moore, Thomas 0., Governor of Louisi- 
ana, 102. 

Morton, Senator, 260. 

Mouton, Alexander, president of Louisi- 
ana Convention, 12 ; his zeal for the 
Southern cause, 108. 

McClellan, General George B., assumes 
command of Potomac army, 31 ; his 
work as an organizer, 32 ; his strategy, 
33 ; his force at beginning of Rieh- 
mond campaign, 86 ; in battle of Cold 
Harbor, 87 ; his topographical knowl- 
edge, ib. ; as a commander, 93 ; lacked 
audacity, 95. 

McDowell, Major-General Irvin, his plan 
of battle at Manassas, 19. 

Magruder, General, as a commander, 93. 

Malvern Hill, battle of, 92. 

Negro slaves, their fidelity, 210. 

Office-seeking, the curse of democracies, 
269. 

Pemberton, General, his services in the 
United States army, 116 ; his unfitness 
for independent command, 117 ; his 
blunder at Vicksburg, 148. 

Philadelphia Convention, 252. 

Pleasant Hill, battle of, 168. 

Polignac, Prince Charles, 154. 

Pope, General, his incapacity, 95. 

Port Hudson taken by Federals, 145. 

Port Republic, Federal repulse, 16. 

Porter, Admiral D. D., ascends Red River, 
155 ; assists in taking Fort de Russy, 
ib. ; his report on battle of Pleasant 
Hill, 174 ; his losses in descending Red 
River, 185 ; report on Banks's retreat 
to Alexandria, 187. 

Presidential election of 1876, 266. 

Provost-marshals, their exactions, 208. 

Queen of the West, gunboat, runs the 
Vicksburg batteries, 122 ; captured by 
Confederates, 124. 

Railroads, inefficiency of the Southern, 
203. 

Red River opened by the Federals, 136. 

Richmond, Dean, in the Charleston Con- 
vention, 11. 

River systems of Western Louisiana, 
103. 

18 



Salt mines at Petit Anse, 114. 

Selma taken by Federals, 219. 

Seward, W. H., 240. 

Seymour, Colonel, killed at Cold Harbor, 
85. 

Sheridan, General P. H., in New Orleans, 
262 ; his course approved by a rene- 
gade Democrat, 263. 

Sherman, General W. T., his way of mak- 
ing war, 195. 

Shiloh, battle of, 231. 

Slavery not the cause of the civil war, 
10. 

Smith, Lieutenant-General E. Kirby, in 
command of the " Trans - Mississippi 
Department," 126 ; his military record, 
127; orders reenforcement of Pember- 
ton, 138 ; his administration, 153 ; his 
anxiety about safety of Shreveport, 
176 ; allows Banks and Porter to es- 
cape, 190 ; compared to Quintilius 
Varus, 192. 

South Carolina delegates in Charleston 
Convention, 11. 

Southern leaders after Lee's surrender, 
223. 

" Southern Outrages," 249. 

Southrons have no aptitude for marching, 
36. 

Stanton, E. M., 241. 

Statesmanship lacking to the Confeder- 
acy, 233. 

Stephens, Alexander H., his character, 
29 ; his views concerning military mat- 
ters, ib. ; his tergiversation, ib. ; neg- 
lect of Jefferson Davis, 30. 

Stevens, Thaddeus, 243. 

Straggling in the Southern army, 36. 

Strasburg, affair at, 65. 

Sufferings of the people after the war, 
236. 

Sumner, Charles, 245. 

Tactical mistakes of Confederate gener- 
als, 93. 

Taylor, R. (the author), a delegate to 
Charleston, 10 ; his efforts to promote 
harmony, 12 ; sees war to be inevita- 
ble, 13 ; commissioned colonel, 16 ; 
brigadier, 23 ; habit of noting topog- 
raphy and resources of districts, 40 ; 
disposition for meeting or making an 
attack, ib. ; his Louisiana brigade, 47 ; 
major-general, 93 ; in command of Dis- 
trict of Louisiana, 102 ; lieutenant-gen- 
eral, 196 ; supersedes Hood, 217 ; his 
army sent into North Carolina, 218 ; 



274 



INDEX. 



his surrender, 226 ; return home, 228 ; 

visits Jeff. Davis in Fortress Monroe, 

246. 
Teche country, 105 ; military operations 

in, 181, 135. 
Tents, useless impedimenta, 40. 
Toombs, General Robert, takes Georgia 

" home-guards " out of their State, 

215. 
Topography, ignorance .of, among Con- 
federates, 86. 
" Trans-Mississippi Department," its last 

hours, 229. 
Troopers strapped to their horses, 55; 

protected by breastplates, ib. 
Truce concluded between Generals Canby 

and Taylor, 224. 
Turenne, anecdote of, 64. 

Universal suffrage, its effects on a people, 
209. 

Valley of Virginia, its opulence, 45 ; laid 

waste by General Sheridan, 46. 
Vicksburg, attempts to relieve it, 138. 



Vicksburg and Port Hudson, importance 
of, to the Confederates, 116. 

Walker, General W. H. T., his services in 

the United States army, 22 ; joins 

forces with Taylor, 150. 
War, its demoralizing effects on the 

North, 257. 
Washington City after the war, 241. 
Weitzel, General, ascends the Teche, 120; 

his successes, 121. 
Western Louisiana, its topography, 103. 
Wheat, Major, his turbulent battalion, 

25 ; his checkered career, 26. 
Wilson, General, captures Selma, 220. 
Winchester, battle of, 56. 
Winder, General Charles, 79. 
Winston, ex-Governor, his conservatism, 

12 ; his change of views, ib. 
Wirtz, his efforts to better the condition 

of prisoners, 216. 
Wyndham, Colonel Percy, 26. 

Yancey, William L., his influence in the 
Charleston Convention, 11. 



THE END. 



DESTRUCTION and RECONSTRUCTION : 

PERSONAL EXPERIENCES OF THE LATE WAR. 
By RICHARD TAYLOR, 

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL IN THE CONFEDEBATE ARM?. 



1 vol., 8vo. Cloth. 274 pages. . . . Price, $2.00. 



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ENGLISH REFORMATION 

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* UPHOLD IT. 



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A HISTORY OF ENGLAND 



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Some Topics selected from the Contents. 



Whigs and Tories. 

godolphin and marlborough. 

Literature under Anne. 

Sacheverell and the Clergy. 

Oxford, Bolingbroke, Swift. 

Nonconformists— Quakers. 

Parliamentary Corruption and Tyr- 
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Irish Penal Code. 

Robert Walpole. 

Drunkenness— Gambling. 

Fleet Marriages. 

Newspapers. 

Architecture, Painting, Music, and the 
Drama. 

English Laborers. I 



North American Colonies. 

Commercial Restrictions. 

Slave-Trade. 

Scotland: The Highlands, Scotch Re- 
ligion, Progress. 

Ireland : Resources, Country Life, Pol- 
itics, Religion, Emigration. < 

Priest-Hunting, 1711—1730. 

The Duke of Newcastle. 

Pitt— Fox. 

Conquest of Canada. 

Conquest of Hindostan. 

Religious Revival. 

Observance of Sunday. 

Wesley— Whitefield. 

Religion in Wales. 



Other writers, and among them notably Lord Stanhope, have published works 
covering, in great measure, the same period which Mr. Lecky has here chosen 
to tr.eat of; but the plans, objects, and the classes of facts on which the present 
history especially dwells, are so very different from all preceding histories as to 
constitute an entirely distinct production. Next to impartiality, nothing has so 
distinguished Mr. Lecky as his power of massing facts, and preserving their due 
relation and subordination. The strict order of chronology he in some cases 
departs from, for, as he observes, " the history of an institution, or a tendency, 
can only be written by collecting into a single focus facts that are spread over 
many years, and such matters may be more clearly treated according to the order 
of subjects than according to the order of time." This is, indeed, the philosophy 
of history ; and, instead of giving a dry narrative of events year by year, it has 
been Mr. Lecky's object " to disengage from the great mass of facts those which 
relate to the permanent forces of the nation, or which indicate some of the more 
enduring features of national life, and to present the growth or decline of mon- 
archy, the aristocracy, and the democracy, of the Church and of Dissent, of the 
agricultural, the manufacturing, and the commercial interests; the increasing 
power of Parliament and of the press ; the history of political ideas, of art, of 
manners, and of belief; the changes that have taken place in the social and 
economical condition of the people ; the influences that have modified national 
character ; the relations of the mother-country to its dependencies, and the causes 
that have accelerated or retarded the advancement of the latter." 



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